Posted on June 28, 2018 – 12:44 by Yoel Almaguer de Armas
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Don’t miss the translation note at the end. Thanks.
“Unlike my sister, who looks like a train puffing smoke, I have never swallowed it or talked about it while I have a cigarette in my mouth, and after smoking, I drink a glass of water so that the nicotine doesn’t hurt my airways.”
The gentleman who accompanied her told her that the cigar was not good in any of its forms and that the glass of water was an invention of hers. He told her that his grandfather was a country man, that he had a huge meadow in Pinar del Río and loved to chew tobacco.
“And she died of lung cancer?” she asked, half doubtful, suspicious.
“No, he got tired of living and died of something else.”
There was a time of silence between the two of us. I expected a reaction from her, because I knew she would comment on something, anything, to justify her vision as a smoker.
“Doctors always say that smoking causes lung cancer, but there are a lot of people with lung cancer who have never put one in their mouths.”
To corroborate the lady’s idea a little, the Cuban Journal of Hygiene and Epidemiology wrote in one of its issues that tobacco is associated with cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, ureter, bladder, blood system and, especially, lung.
Studies published in issue 44 of this magazine show that women who smoke tend to have an earlier menopause and have a double risk of developing lung cancer than men, while men, when they smoke one pack a day, increase their risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation by 40%.
The lady, who was waiting for a test result in the lobby of the hospital in Havana, is one of the many people who wake up with a little coffee and a cigarette in their mouth, and when they don’t have them, they have a headache and the day is pure sorrow.
From the moment I heard it, I thought of an alternative that would help her reduce her addiction, until she quit smoking. She didn’t know I was a journalist because I didn’t tell her, either. You may read this paper and know that it is intended for her and everyone who has ever tried to quit smoking and has not been able to.
The World Health Organization, WHO, explains that tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. Of these, more than 6 million are consumers of the product, and around 890,000 are non-smokers exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke.
WHO also states that in adults, smoke from other serious cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, particularly coronary heart disease and lung cancer, causes sudden death in infants and low birth weight in pregnant women.
The same Organization states that tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, and tobacco use is expected to cause 450 million deaths in the next 50 years.
The one who is a “titi” is one of the many people who recognize the negative effect that smoking cigarettes has on their health, and often have the obligation to quit when it causes them to say between life and the addiction to smoke.
TRANSLATION NOTE: The Spanish headline is “Yo soy una “titi”. It’s a Cuban slang expression referring to a still-attractive, but no longer as young, female. Because it’s slang, I asked two Cuban translators. The first, a female in her seventies wrote:
A titi is slang for a very young person. In that context she means she looks and feels very young despite her 50’s.
The second, male in his fifties, wrote:
As to “titi”, very common too. It’s just slang (although not offensive) to refer to someone who looks really good, young and/or healthy (especially in cases of middle-aged people), and it can be used for men and women alike. Now, you would only call a woman “estas hecha un titi” when you’re close to her. Behind a woman’s back, it’s as common a sex-related remark as any other, like “Look at that temba (a woman in her 40s or 50s, remember that one? Like in discotemba?), she’s kind of old and yet see how tasty she looks”. But even if my grandmother complains about how weak or sick she feels because of her old age, I could very well use that expression and tell her, “Don’t say that, you look really great!” (…estas echa un titi). Hope you get the picture.
Posted on May 15, 2018 – 8:11 by Yoel Almaguer de Armas
From the province of Camagüey, a father wrote to us saying that, after fifteen years of marriage with his wife, they decided to end their relationship. He says he got a job in Havana and that forced him to leave his only son behind. Several years have passed, and this father feels that he has lost the trust of his child He asks us how to recover it.
Answering his question, Rolando Javier Rodríguez Camejo, Specialist at the Counseling and Psychological Assistance Center of the Psychology Department of the University of Havana, explains that if the physical remoteness became psychological distance it is very likely that the child has filled the empty spaces with frustrations, resentments and other negative elements.
The psychologist advises not to try to recover trust through imposition, but using mechanisms that would facilitate the bond with the child. “The affective approach and closeness of the father with the son is important and this requires a systematic link”.
The specialist indicates that the mother’s support is important for this process. “Sometimes the mother’s family has a negative impact on the return of the father, and this situation causes the child to be in the middle of a conflict which generates emotional and psychological instability.”
Rodriguez Camejo concludes saying that in order to regain trust “the first thing that this dad should do is to achieve communication with his son, and later regain the authority which is earned over time.”
Posted on May 15, 2018 – 7:14 by Alina M. Lotti
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Stephen Beresford probably found in Mike Jackson a good story to include in what would later become the screenplay for the film Pride, a historical drama about the work of a group of LGBT activists (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) who raised money to help families affected by the 1984 British miners’ strike.
A long time has passed since then and now Mike has had a chance to revisit those facts. Invited by the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) to celebrate the eleventh edition of the Conference against Homophobia and Transphobia, the activist, is also a member of the UNITE trade union. It’s the largest in the country, bringing together millions of members from various sectors, an organization in solidarity with Cuba, shared here with the public some of his experiences with the film and the event that motivated it.
“It was during Margaret Thatcher’s second term in office (1983-1987) when she intended to close a large number of mines and put thousands of workers out of work. I was just a young man of socialist thought and a member of the LGBT community, for whom it was important not only to recognize their rights, but also those of others.
“Stephen, the screenwriter, thought the story was incredible and worth taking to the big screen. The experience was different for those of us who were part of that group. I came from the working class and it was easy for me to identify with that cause.
That is to say, during all these years millions of human beings have had the possibility of learning the real dimension of the facts…
In September 2014 it premiered in the UK and it was amazing! Many young people were attracted to it. Today, new groups have emerged in the gay community, such as those who support dockworkers and immigrants. Many are trying to do what we did at that time. We couldn’t hope for anything better!
Thanks to the film we were able to broaden our voices in the UK and in other nations, and to speak not only of struggle and commitment, but also of solidarity.
This is the first time he has visited Cuba and it has only been three weeks. However, how do you see respect for the LGBTI community (this last letter has been incorporated a few years ago and means intersex)?
I feel very safe here; there are no drug users or homeless people on the streets. Compared to London there is a great contrast. My country has lived for 40 years with strong right-wing rule, but now the new leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is a great candidate on the left.
As for what you ask me, I believe that Cuba has made progress on the rights of the LGBT community, similar to my country.
If there was the possibility of a second film….
If that happens I’ll migrate to the moon!
The 11th Cuban Conference against Homophobia and Transphobia: For schools without homophobia and transphobia, began on May 4 and will run until May 18 in the context of the 30th anniversary of Cenesex, the main organizer and promoter of the event. Under the motto I include myself, this year – and for the second time – the campaign focuses on better education for the new generations.