Men Working / Regina Coyula

Several television programs have the format of a presenter-moderator with invited guests to discuss a specific topic of national events over which they have some political or administrative responsibility.

Free Access on the province-wide Havana channel, and The Round Table with its new interest in internal problems, or Open Dialog, on channels with national reach, are the most high-profile in this format. The viewers can call or write in so as to —  if in addition to agreeing with the space and at the right moment, say it in the “correct” way — receive a response from the organizers.

By strange coincidence, overweight officials, very uncomfortable in front of the camera and with the limited language that characterizes them, offer explanations — justifications we might say — of the unsatisfactory performance of the areas within their responsibility, and what is very significant is how a phrase is always repeated, one that the functionaries seem to feel very comfortable: “We’re working on that.”

For decades, that phrase has been the wildcard of the leadership that thrives in the Cuban bureaucracy. Making it no surprise to see the impoverishment of goods and services destined for our working people. This deterioration didn’t happen over night, and not seeing in these bosses a well-argued and convincing explanation should discourage even the most sincere believers in the economic reforms.

Indeed, it’s completely clear what the guests to these programs of Cuban catharsis have been working on with visible success. Four aspects, namely: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

14 November 2013

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