WHAT DOES AFRICA’S HERITAGE ADD TO YOUR STATUS AS A CUBAN WOMAN?
That’s a nice question. The answer is obvious to the eye of the beholder: At first glance, I have great features as a black person, my physiognomy. But beyond that, the influence of Africa is in the culture and identity of the nation, of which all the women and men of this country are a part.
WHAT REASONS SHOULD DRIVE US IN CUBA TO CELEBRATE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AFRODESCENDANT WOMEN?
It is a way of paying homage to all the women who were enslaved on our Island. It is to remember all the women of our family tree who somehow tried to revolutionize, to make a difference, to fulfill dreams. Some of those dreams were frustrated or unheard, but others have become reality: today many of us flourish with our own voice, with ideas and conquests that future generations will see come true.
On the other hand, this day sets a pattern at least once a year – initiatives should be carried out all year round – to favor women as black and mestizo women, I will not say Afro-descendants because in Cuba we are all Afro-descendants in one way or another. We are a disadvantaged population, and women are more so.
WHAT STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES DID YOU FIND IN YOUR AFRICAN HERITAGE DURING THE FACE OF THE GLOBAL HEALTH CRISIS?
My main strength was living in a country where the health system was up to the task and I don’t leave any person behind. There were no weaknesses, but it is worth mentioning that not all the provinces were on an equal footing: there was better management in some than in others, and within Havana, for example, some municipalities were more organized than others. I don’t know if it was the provinces’ own efforts or if it was a matter of priorities because of the situation the country was and is going through.
WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED AND LEARNED IN LIFE DURING THESE DAYS OF CONFRONTATION WITH COVID 19?
That I chose the right career, a pity that it is not the one I am practicing at the moment and it is a lesson that marked me a lot, since I was all these months without working.
That the health and food service professions are very important and must be given enormous value in society. They did and do for us at this time, and no salary can compensate for that.
That time for oneself and one’s family is more important than time spent on routines and work issues.
That you have to be strong physically, psychologically and emotionally, to face situations that do not depend on you, but it does depend on you to face them in the best possible way.
That saving should become a priority, not for banal things, nor for long term goals (which is not bad), but that this can save your economic situation, your family’s or a third party’s in difficult times.
That the family who gave you life and the friends you choose will always be there to give you a hand. Valuing them, caring for them, loving them, dedicating time to them will make the best gift you can give them.
That the work of a housewife, caring for children, caring for an elderly person, should be remunerated and acquire value and respect in society.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CHANGE IN POLICIES AND INSTITUTIONS AT ALL LEVELS TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION OF AFRODESCENDANT WOMEN IN CUBA?
A law to protect all girls, young women and women.
Greater participation in political positions and functions.
Create better living conditions for women, and more so without being single mothers or caring for a family.