For some time, they have been feeding Cubans on the Island news and culture from China by the plateful. Cuban TV has even begun showing a program called “Looking At China” on one of its four national channels, evidently aimed at making the Chinese–and above all, Chinese things–seem less strange, different, and distant to us. Now, everything Chinese is nothing less than marvelous: its food, dance, music (!!!), products, political leaders, its colossal growth and development, its culture in general.
This sort of indoctrination has been reinforced by the massive entry of electronic appliances, computers, and even busses made in China. These last ones, a relief for our battered public transportation fleet, at least in Havana, have now even begun to be assembled in Cuba. Obviously, these benefits constitute a debt that we’ve obliged ourselves to, not only in the material and financial sense, but also in the political. It’s for this reason that, in Cuba, the press, which never mentions nor explains, for example, what the facts were about Tiananmen Square, has stood up in defense of China’s imperial rights. Now Cubans must support the Chinese cause in Tibet, as in Taiwan. Everything the Chinese government considers its possession automatically is, even though we don’t know for certain the history of each region, the nature of their conflicts, much less what might happen there.
However, we’ll have to be careful. If we take Tibet as an example, we can conclude that the Chinese are the type who come to stay and take ownership of things. And we know that they are exclusivists, like our Russian occupiers were in the 70′s and 80′s. The Chinese, whose first immigrants arrived on the Island during the colonial era, never really integrated themselves into society. Even now, the few native Chinese who entered during the days of the Republic continue to have closed societies and still speak to each other in their own language so that we can’t understand them. Understand that I really don’t have anything against the Chinese simply because they are here; but faced with the reality of the situation, I can’t help but be a little startled each time I pass beneath the enormous Chinese gate that the Historian of our city has had built at the entrance to the neighborhood of this name.
April 12, 2008