“Gifts” of Yearend

“Gifts” of Yearend
Fecha de publicación: 
1 January 2024
Imagen principal: 

Right now people could be dying in this world from preventable diseases, from hunger or from wars.

This is likely because 1.4 million people die annually from preventable diseases, while nearly 700 million people live in extreme poverty.

We must add the odds that conspire against life that every day, 13,800 children under 5 years of age die from preventable causes, and almost half of these child deaths are due to malnutrition. According to UNICEF, 8,500 children die every day from this unfortunate cause.

The global unemployment rate, which stands at 5.7% this year, and the increase in the educational gap at a global level also threaten a dignified existence, coexisting with artificial intelligences, that encourage adolescent children and young people who cannot access school.

And if we add the war conflicts that today overshadow the world, and that the deaths caused by Israel alone in Gaza and the West Bank are around 20 thousand, many of them children and women, then it becomes very difficult to talk about a happy yearend.

Christmas fashion

However, and as part of the many paradoxes in which humans find themselves immersed today, there’s no shortage of those who issue checks for very high sums to purchase those luxury gifts that are in fashion in Christmas.

Perhaps some of those children mentioned here could have been saved with only a part of such large amounts, but those with overflowing coffers prefer to give away some "deluxe" Pocker decks kept in their embossed leather wallet, acquired by the "modest"  sum of 1,800 euros.

These cards are at the top of a certain list in the “must-have gifts list of the most luxurious gifts this Christmas” and are followed by Dolce&Gabbana earrings for a price of 6,500 euros.

They seem not to be aware of the humanity of those who rush out to buy them, so as not to be left out of a supposed Christmas fashion, announced as a period in which “gifting transcends simple tradition and becomes an expression of affection wrapped in sophistication and luxury.”

What affection is lavished by those who choose to give away that skateboard – the third place on the list in question – for which they have to pay 10,000 euros. While so many children in the world ignore what a toy is and only long for a bite of food to appease the terrible anguish of hunger.

Guns Vs happiness

Along with such waste, the US Senate approved an unprecedented military budget this December.

Under the finely accepted National Defense Authorization Act 2024 (NDAA), that budget includes $14.7 billion in cash for the Pentagon's Pacific Deterrence Initiative and $300 million annually for aid to Ukraine until the end of 2026.

The bill allocates $11.5 billion to defense, $1 billion to finish construction of a new dock for amphibious assault ships, $100 million in cash for new Air Force programs, and a $5.2%   pay increase for the military, but eliminates financial aid for abortions and sex reassignment surgeries.

For years, contemplating the pathetic path of this world, the troubadour wondered https://www.letras.com/silvio-rodriguez/132619/ if angels “who never manage to save us” would be incompetent.

He later proposed that to help them “Let's be a lot better and much less selfish.”

But his claim is as ineffective as angelic management for a part of the world.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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