Cuban Mile

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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...
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