Local Anesthesia

Reading the post’s comments of late has become a routine. It calls my attention to all the opinions expressed to my post on the Ladies in White. It is my understanding that most people inside Cuba heard about them, for the first time, through the recent note in the newspaper Granma. Many people thought they were part of a religious ritual (santeria) when they came across them in the streets. Those of you who read these blogs from outside Cuba, don’t be fooled into believing that everybody here has a different opinion. There are those who don’t even have one opinion. There are many people here concerned solely about their own well being. Selfishness used as form of resistance. Their disagreements are abstract; they deny the consequences but are unable or unwilling to see the causes.

There are others who think that with some reforms, mostly economic ones, all problems would be solved. Their concepts of sovereignty and anti-imperialism, combined with very little or no access to sources of information that are not the official ones (for examples, foreign news agencies) make them feel suspicious of any change. They are like the group mentioned above, but using a different approach, they also deny the consequences but are unable to isolate the causes.

And there is the group that have the knowledge, the data and the facts about the causes and the consequences, but are afraid of change or fear the changes will be inconvenient for them.

There are still two more groups, the smallest ones. The first one is made up of those who still think we live in the best of all possible worlds and there is no need to change anything. The other one is the group of those who are questioning and asking. They are treated with silk gloves in the cultural/arts fields, but not as nicely when they are in the areas of education and sciences. To this group also belong the dissidents. And here I am using the word “dissident” in its literal sense. In this group everybody has an opinion, but only a few express it. And they all share their desire of a low-traumatic change for the country. In this group, however,  there are also people who, thanks to their actual status, don’t think their situation would improve after a change.

The Cuban government should make no mistake either, regarding the youngsters unanimously supporting the recently adjourned congress of the Young Communist League (UJC) and all these “revolutionary acts of reaffirmation” that have been propagating all over the country like marabou weed. I still remember those repudiation rallies in 1980, in front of the US Interest Section where many of those who screamed “Que se vaya la escoria” (“Let the scum go”) ended up, along with their coarse voices, standing in a boat sailing towards the United States. Could you imagine how it would be now, that we have improved to perfection the art of simulation and the double standards?

Fear, stubbornness, mistrust, opportunism, lack of information. Mix all those ingredients together and you will get an idea of what’s really going on now in the Cuban society. Could it be that it is like someone said, that our society is under anesthesia?


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