Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

December 31, 1998, Cuba Free Press.

99 WISHES FOR THE LAST YEAR OF THIS CENTURY By Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - Here they are, 99 wishes and hopes for the last year of this century:

1. I wish, in spite of the predictions that there will be ongoing wars throughout the world, that armed conflicts would lead to fewer victims and less destruction.

2. I hope that disputing countries will be able to sign treaties which will allow them to negotiate their political, ethnic or border differences.

3. I wish that natural disasters would be more benign towards the inhabitants of this earth.

4. I hope that men, regardless of where they live, will be able to value and care for the environment.

5. I hope nobody consciously harms plants and animals.

6. I hope we all contribute to a cleaner atmosphere.

7. I hope that we will care for our oceans, rivers and lakes as well as we care for our home aquariums.

8. I hope that the generosity of the major food producing countries will end hunger.

9. I hope charity becomes universal.

10. I hope that the rich share with the poor some percentage of their riches.

11. I hope justice prevails and that criminals receive punishment proportionate to their crimes.

12. I hope that the idea of an international tribunal prevails and that crimes against humanity, genocide and terrorism will be punished by impartial judges.

13. I hope that the case of General Augusto Pinochet will set a precedent for dealing with dictators.

14. I hope that torture and other such practices against human beings are finally abolished.

15. I hope that every world leader will follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

16. I hope that the documents approved by the United Nations favoring women and children will be equally followed by presidents and governments.

17. I hope each nation undertake effective steps towards reducing domestic violence.

18. I hope that prostitution of adults and children diminishes throughout the world.

19. I hope abortion is only used when strictly necessary.

20. I hope scientists won't work in research which goes against ethics and morals.

21. I hope that experiments with Dolly - the cloned sheep - and other animals will serve animals and humans and not work to the contrary.

22. I hope more vaccines and effective medications against diseases, such as AIDS and cancer, are discovered.

23. I hope campaigns against smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse will reach all inhabitants of our planet.

24. I hope new communication technology will enable men to get closer rather than further apart.

25. I hope that people who use the Internet will not be unscrupulous with their use of the information superhighway.

26. I hope freedom of expression and association will reach even the most uncivilized of places.

27. I hope democracy becomes the common denominator in those areas of the hemisphere which are still dominated by totalitarianism and the forces of darkness.

28. I hope the various religions will contribute towards bringing men and women together, rather than lead to confrontations.

29. I hope that no people, because of their wealth, intelligence or position will believe themselves to be superior to others.

30. I hope racism, ethnocentrism and anti-Semitism will diminish by the year 2000.

31. I hope more women will head governments, international organizations and economic, social and scientific institutions.

32. I hope that arts and literature will not be contaminated by ideas foreign to human development and that no world power will attempt to impose its culture or language on others.

33. I hope sports and music will continue contributing to friendship and understanding among people.

34. I hope things in Cuba change for the better.

35. I hope Fidel Castro's government, after 40 years in power, realizes that "things that don't change, become stagnant."

36. I hope reason prevails in my country and that repressive and violent methods are abandoned by the government.

37. I hope fear doesn't continue to be a paralyzing factor in the nation.

38. I hope Cubans inside and outside the country will abandon old hatreds and will begin a dialogue.

39. I hope that before Clinton leaves office, the path will be cleared for an end to the economic embargo and that four decades of American-Cuban confrontation will come to an end.

40. I hope Cuban exiles are as tolerant as the majority of the internal dissident movement.

41. I hope those who opt to join the peaceful opposition movement and the independent press will do so for their discrepancies with the status quo and not as a means of creating a political background which will lead to their exile.

42. I hope those who choose to join the Communist Party or the Communist Youth movement do so because they believe in the ideology and not because they wish to profit from carrying a red identification.

43. I hope the bad seeds of hypocrisy and double morality will be set aside by a good many Cubans and people all over the world.

44. I hope shortages, poverty and other hardships suffered by a great majority of Cubans will not serve to justify thefts and corruption.

45. I hope that our children and youth will stop finding in prostitution the remedy for their material and spiritual needs.

46. I hope Catholics and those from other religious factions will put in place projects to save the new generation of Cubans.

47. I hope local leaders will get out of their automobiles and walk the streets, talk to the people and see with their own eyes the problems faced by the people.

48. I hope the national discourse will shorten in the last two years separating us from the 3rd Century.

49. I hope the official press will start writing about thaings that the people want to read.

50. I hope the words globalization and neo-liberalism will go to a back-burner.

51. I hope those on top will finally come to the realization that they are responsible for the hardships of those below.

52. I hope all our hardships do not continue to be blamed solely on the embargo, the enemy and hurricanes.

53. I hope the government doesn't continue to fear another revolt such as the one of August 5, 1994.

54. I hope those in power come to the realization that they were not born to rule.

55. I hope the ability of Cubans to work and create in complete freedom is finally acknowledged.

56. I hope the government realizes that with the monthly quota allocated by the ration card - in effect since 1962 - nobody can live without using the the Black Market.

57. I hope people will start thinking for themselves and try to read and keep informed.

58. I hope censorship and state controls diminish, at the very least, in '99 so we can buy better books and watch better movies.

59. I hope Cuban women will stop being so submissive and turn in husbands who abuse them.

60. I hope the struggle overcomes banality and Cuban television stops broadcasting foreign soap operas which have nothing to do with our reality.

61. I hope Cubans who distinguish themselves in music and sports will speak abroad about the realities of life in Cuba.

62. I hope the unrealistic views that many foreigners have of Cuba will vanish in 1999.

63. I hope assaults and attacks on and deaths of tourists in Cuba diminish, regardless of the cause.

64. I hope we have fewer fires, traffic accidents and home and workplace accidents in 1999 than in 1998.

65. I hope medical attention improves in the hospitals and that physicians obtain better resources to care for the ill.

66. I hope teachers obtain better resources to teach the students and that students become more studious and more respectful of their teachers.

67. I hope grocers, butchers and store clerks will steal less from the consumers.

68. I hope all who die in Cuba or abroad can have a dignified burial and rest in peace.

69. I hope the Church hierarchy - as well as the hierarchy of the Cuban Communist Party - have their feet firmly on the ground.

70. I hope the readers of Cuba Free Press Internet will continue to read our works and that in 1999 we will continue to objectively report from the island.

71. I hope the upcoming visit of the King of Spain, as well as the celebration in Havana of the IX Ibero-American Summit in 1999 will not result in greater harassment and pressure against the dissidents and the independent journalists.

72. I hope amnesty will be granted to all political prisoners by the year 2000.

73. I hope authorities finally bring to trial or free the four members of the Internal Dissidence Task Force - Marta Beatriz Roque, Vladimiro Roca Antunez, Rene Gomez Manzano and Felix Bonne Carcasses) - detained since July 16, 1997.

74. I hope the OSS (Office of State Security) changes its repressive tactics and stops spying on those who oppose the government.

75. I hope government critics will continue to speak out on the streets and support every peaceful rally with their presence.

76. I hope the foreign press allowed in Cuba will meet their task of objectively reporting what is happening on the island.

77. I hope visiting journalists will be able to capture the facts of life in Cuba in spite of the prisms and showcases which the government seeks to use.

78. I hope the Pope's health improves and he will visit Cuba again.

79. I hope some of the international jet-setters who visit us will be for something more substantial than buying some Havana cigars, taking photos in Old Havana, or dancing at the Salsa Palace.

80. I hope more personal contacts develop between artists here and in exile.

81. I hope Jesus Diaz will continue to publish "Encuentro" magazine in Madrid, Spain.

> 82. I hope the dollar will stop being the "Eleggua" - the be all and end all - for Cubans who live on the island.

83. I hope my countrymen will develop a single morality, act accordingly, and stop stealing, because stealing is a crime in any society.

84. I hope people, in 1999, will be able to overcome their frustrations and those who feel most hopeless will not seek to commit suicide.

85. I hope Cubans, in their desperation, stop seeking to leave Cuba at any cost and find their future within the motherland.

86. I hope 1999 brings health to me, my family, my friends and residents of Cuba and abroad.

87. I hope I will get lucky and that before the century is over I will be able to repair and paint my house.

88. I hope that in 1999, I will be able to buy a small black and white TV for $62; the others are much too expensive for my limited resources.

89. I hope to buy for my daughter a comfortable and lasting pair of shoes and another pair for me, resistant to rain.

90. I hope my typewriter will not be taken away by State Security and that I won't find myself short of writing paper and pens or batteries for my tiny short-wave Sony. It is my link to the rest of the world.

91. I hope next year I will have more time to write, read, go to the movies, listen to the radio, visit my friends and write to friends far away.

92. I hope the price of farm products as well as other goods at the stores go down.

93. I hope pharmacies will be better stocked and not have to be asking others abroad and the Churches for needed medications.

94. I hope we won't be lacking in flour, starch and cooking oil, so that our daily - and only - bread (80 grams) will have a minimum of quality.

95. I hope products sold through the ration card will increase in quantity and quality.

96. I hope that Yania, my granddaughter, won't get sick and that she'll have a minimum of food, clothing and toys.

97. I hope hardships due to blackouts, water and gas shortages will be minimal in Havana and throughout the island in 1999.

98. I hope soy meat, "fricandel" and other canned meats of unknown origin will disappear from our diet.

99. Finally, I hope not to have to waste as much time as I did in 1998 washing rice.

And if you don't mind, I would like to know some of your aspirations for the New Year.

Sincerely,

Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.


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