The Mantra and the Need

To my regret, the only newspaper I occasionally have access to is Granma.  On Fridays, they publish a section of letters from readers, popularly knows as “the wailing wall.”  Mostly complaints appear: complaints about the functioning of institutions, complaints about the bad treatment of users of services, complaints about illegalities, complaints about late payments in the delivery of land.  To ameliorate the bad impression so many complaints leave, they include letters of advice about saving energy, or congratulations to a medical collective for doing good work.

I don’t pretend to analyze these pages that have as their objective to seem like a space for free expression where the feelings of citizens matter.  I go to what interests me.  Appearing in this section are a series of opinions on whether or not to privatize certain activities, and just as many write in favor as write against these measures invoking a kind of mantra: the save the country, the revolution, socialism.  OUR socialism is fifty years old and there is little or nothing left to save, even education and health, hailed as paradigms, have fallen into crisis for which there are sad exampled: the scandal of Mazorra, the terrible spelling of university graduates.  And the revolution, if we stick to that term, turned into the institutionalized government of the country in 1976, and since then we have done nothing but stand still or retreat.

No problems are solved with a call to redouble the revolutionary vigilance and creative effort, meaningless slogans among a mass that they already once made their without any gain in productivity or increase in the productivity and efficiency of labor.  The Holy Trinity, Fatherland-Revolution-Socialism has functioned as a source of contention for the critics who, however they resist are considered traitors in this government’s insistence that “you’re either with me or against me.”  What is essential does not change, that is, to save the country, and in this work all Cubans have a role.

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One thought on “The Mantra and the Need

  1. Coño Regina, De nuevo un Home Run ! I am a huge fan of your writing. I visit Cuba often. As a professor of Music at a prestigious U.S. university I have the abiltity to travel whenever my financial situation permits. I lived there from 1992 -1993 and have made over 20 other trips lasting anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.
    I never had the opportunity to meet anyone of your political leanings while I have been there. It would have been refreshing.
    I am fond of saying that on my first trip to the “Forbidden Paradise” that I went as a “Wannabe Socialist” and came home as a “Born Again Capitalist”. I was very disturbed by the negative effects my visits had on friends in terms of them being harrassed by State Security and questioned as to what they were doing spending so much time with a “Yuma”.
    Although my friends always tryied to minimize it’s effect on them I was very troubled by what I considered to be a serious violation of a basic Human Right, that of ones ability to choose their own aquaintances without fear of retribution.
    Once agian I always love reading your blog and hope that on one of my trips in the future I will have the honor and privilege of meeting you.
    Peace, Chiquitico.

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