Suffering endures | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
Pin It

Suffering endures 

Hal Crowther got it right in "Cuba Endures" (Feb. 15), from the initial shock of Havana's streets to the inevitable embarrassment of riches one feels on returning to the United States. Several years ago I was in Havana reporting a story for a national magazine. My every step was thwarted by "secret" police who tailed the 1970s Lada my unsuspecting driver had fitted with a dashboard fan (and still we were soaked in sweat). I did manage to interview dissident journalists who had spent years in what Cuba terms jails but what we'd call dungeons. One mother who refused to allow her daughters to attend the summer work camps had been imprisoned for years in an underground cell with 15 other women; a hole in the cement floor served as the latrine and crowding required that the women take turns lying down to sleep. I befriended the widow of "Red Beard," Castro's head of secret police during the 1960s, and wondered what happened to Che's utopian image.

On leaving the country, I was placed in an interrogation room at the airport. For an hour, I was questioned about who I spoke with ("No one") and the purpose of my visit ("To record Cuban music"). I was wearing my notes in my lingerie and miraculously was undetected in the officer's pat down.

Like Hal, I felt rage and shame that our punitive policies have left the people of Cuba so bereft. However, on landing in Miami, I felt something rather surprising: gratitude, for living in this country, for being able to speak freely on the telephone, for a free press, and for the right to ask questions without the risk of being jailed.

That was 2001. Had I been more prescient, my sense of gratitude would have been mitigated by events of later years.

=Judith Reitman

Hillsborough

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Letters to the Editor



Twitter Activity

Comments

Indy writes hit piece on a small business. Small business fails to launch. Indy acts like theyre 12 and throws …

by eldergawd on It’s Our Fault The Lakewood and Baby Scratch Closed (And Other Things Our Readers Told Us) (Letters to the Editor)

In the end, I guess the joke's on me. Victoria Bouloubasis was so much a part of the Durham community …

by David Hewitt 1 on It’s Our Fault The Lakewood and Baby Scratch Closed (And Other Things Our Readers Told Us) (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Indy writes hit piece on a small business. Small business fails to launch. Indy acts like theyre 12 and throws …

by eldergawd on It’s Our Fault The Lakewood and Baby Scratch Closed (And Other Things Our Readers Told Us) (Letters to the Editor)

In the end, I guess the joke's on me. Victoria Bouloubasis was so much a part of the Durham community …

by David Hewitt 1 on It’s Our Fault The Lakewood and Baby Scratch Closed (And Other Things Our Readers Told Us) (Letters to the Editor)

Of course, Victoria Bouloubasis did not single-handedly bring about the closing of The Lakewood in a year's time. Her rant …

by David Hewitt 1 on It’s Our Fault The Lakewood and Baby Scratch Closed (And Other Things Our Readers Told Us) (Letters to the Editor)

Andrew Magowan, that's why we clarified the headline. But headlines in print and online are always different because they work …

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on It’s Our Fault The Lakewood and Baby Scratch Closed (And Other Things Our Readers Told Us) (Letters to the Editor)

The crime in that area, please? Won't anyone address that factor? I doubt it. …

by Barbara 2 on It’s Our Fault The Lakewood and Baby Scratch Closed (And Other Things Our Readers Told Us) (Letters to the Editor)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation