cuban mile

931 Words4 Pages
The Special Period in Cuba can best be described as a time of struggle. The dissatisfaction of many Cubans has led to their emigration to the United States by traveling in rafts to the coast of Florida. The Cuban people have different views regarding the trip to exile as well as the motivations to stay or leave Cuba. In Alejandro Hernandez Diaz’s book,
The Cuba Mile, and in the movie “Guantanamera”, we see some of the different ways in which Cuban Culture views the
Special Period, the trip to exile, and the motivations behind staying or leaving Cuba.
The year 1991 marked the beginning of the Special
Period and hard times have existed in Cuba ever since. Many
Cubans are tired of the hardships and shortages of the
Special Period. To try and make ends meet many Cubans have adapted to the tough times by making money in the Black
Market. In “Guantanamera”, both the cabdriver and Mariano use the Black Market to make extra money. As they travel across the island, they buy food to be resold at a higher price when they arrive in Havana. Many Cubans feel that the
Revolution is no longer working and that it is time for a change. In “Guantanamera”, symbolism of this idea is clearly demonstrated. In the movie, a story from the
Santeria religion is told. The god of Olofin is represented in the movie, Olofin created life but not death. Therefore, everyone lived forever and the elderly people held control and influenced many aspects of society. Nothing ever changed much like the Cuban government which is old and unchanging. Then, one day Olofin made it rain for thirty days and thirty nights. The flood killed the old and only the young survived. The current revolution is old, and is not working as well as it did in the 1970’s. The movie is calling for the need of a natural process, like the rain to come and wash away the old revolution’s ideas so new and young ideas can survive in Cuba. However, many Cubans feel that the situation is not going to change and their desire to leave Cuba is so strong that they risk their lives by rafting across the Straits of Florida in order to gain freedom and opportunities in the United States.
The hardships of the Special Period became so considerable many Cubans chose to take their chances with the ocean. Large quantities of Cubans began to construct rafts in order to escape to the United States. They hoped to either survive the 90 mile trip or be discovered by the
U.S. coastguard and brought to the United States.

More about cuban mile

Open Document