Eduardo Mora, Another Mask Falls / 14ymedio, Claudia Collazo
14ymedio, Claudia Collazo, Havana, 28 July 2016 — Compelling, cheerful,
with an exuberant vocabulary and a good presence, Eduardo Mora was until
recently one of the main presenters on "Good Morning," Cuba's morning
news show. Even the most boring slogans gained grace from his personal
Just over a month ago, in the hallways of the Cuban Institute of Radio
and Television (ICRT) everyone said, each in his own way, that he had
defected, that he won't return, that he stayed abroad. In May, Mora
attended the Latin American Study Association (LASA) meeting in New York
as a speaker, and at the end of the sessions asked his bosses in
Information Systems to extend his absence for a few more weeks, but they
refused. The presenter intended to take advantage of the trip to visit
his brother in Miami and to give some talks so that he would be able to
buy a house in Havana with the money raised. When he did not appear in
Cuba by the required date, he was fired.
Now, his colleagues comment quietly that Mora "has passed to a better
life." This expression, recognized as a synonym for death, has now
become, ironically, a form of comparing the life of a Cuban who stays
with that of a Cuban who leaves.
Those who knew him at Cubavision International when he was chief of
information there, recall his scathing comments away from the cameras
and microphones. Nothing extraordinary. The same things that are said in
any bread line or on a bus crammed with people. For example: "Marino
Murillo and the other leaders know how to adjust the economy, but
without affecting themselves, nor the kings' children."
The real question is not why did Eduardo Mora stay in Miami, but why do
our talented young professionals decide to leave. It is not about
something as trite as a brain drain, because almost no one will offer
him millions. On the contrary, they assume they can have a better life
there, working as waiters, than they can exercising their profession in
Cuba. The explanation is found in the mere fact that their working
abroad, at anything, gives them at least the opportunity to pay for a
plate of food on the table and, in some cases, for the same for their
families on the island.
What concerns us is not that he stayed because with what he earned here
he could never buy a house in Havana, not even from the results of his
hard work, which, at times involves working more than two contracts
simultaneously. The alarming thing is the chaos unleashed when someone
like Eduardo Mora emigrates or decides to explore new work
opportunities, as if wanting a better life is a grave failing, an
Cubavision International has not yet named a new chief of information;
right now it takes a great deal of effort for people – and for young
people it's even worse – to assume leadership positions. Meanwhile, the
hallway comments multiply. There is a joke that says if there were a
ramparts or a common border with any other country, there would be no
one left on this side. "Let he who does not cross cast the first stone!"
says a lady, passing on the joke.
The system is collapsing not because it is "a plaza under siege by a
genocidal blockade," but because a good part of its people have decided
to launch themselves on the path to emigration. Perhaps because, as José
Martí is claimed to have said, "when the people emigrate… leaders are
superfluous." Something everyone knows and mumbles behind the scenes.
Source: Eduardo Mora, Another Mask Falls / 14ymedio, Claudia Collazo –
Translating Cuba -