Life, Culture and Travels from the perspective of a Cuban
Madrid is Not Asleep
Categories: Trips

We have arrived in Madrid in an interesting time of changes, crisis and demonstrations. The day before yesterday thousands of people were out in a peaceful protest against cuts. Firemen, nurses and teachers of all ages were walking by Cibeles and towards Sol, holding big signs or flags representing them. Some of them were playing music or blowing whistles, others just quietly followed the crowd.

Today in the afternoon, hundreds of people gathered in Sol to show their disapproval about the decision on Baltasar Garzon’s case, a judge that was investigating crimes committed during Franco’s dictatorship. Furthermore, there is another scheduled demonstration for tomorrow afternoon regarding labour laws. Madrid is on fire. Peaceful fire.

My friends have been telling me that while the unemployment rate does not decrease the workers who have managed to get a job or keep one sometimes have to bear ugly work conditions, lower salaries and less employment security. Many times the “bosses” take advantage of the country’s situation to lie, ask for unpaid overtime and in not so few cases mistreat the employees.

Even though I am extremely happy to be here I cannot deny I feel sorry about what is going on. Lots of people with the youth, the desire and the capacity for work are lost and starting to see no stable future in Spain. What you read in the papers is heavy, what you see and hear is worse.




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