The Players in Today’s Cuba

Dariela Aquique

HAVANA TIMES, April 4 — Four or five years ago, daring to speak openly in Cuba of political change or transition, as some call it, was tantamount to self-crucifixion and virtually nobody dared expose themselves to that.

But now, it is striking how many fellow citizens broach the subject with the greatest nonchalance. From different perspectives, but all seeming to converge on the fact: that it is imminent, or it is becoming a tangible reality.

While it is true that there are still many people who, are aware or uninterested in the future direction of the nation, and belonging this group are those (almost a majority), the masses, those that our colleague Haroldo Dilla referred in one of his recent articles (with his usual clarity).

This huge social species, which originated in Cuba after 1959, is the most vulnerable civic sector and has been the most affected by the anthropological damage caused for more than half a century of errors (unconscious or not) of the system in this country.

This was the great mass of people, dispossessed economically and spiritually destitute, relegated to the lowest social class during the Batista dictatorship and previous governments.

When the Revolution triumphed, they were favored by the regime, certain inducements offered promoted egalitarianism in the name of equality and the dividing line between rich and poor disappeared with it, as it also did between intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals, professionals and amateurs, citizens and authorities.

This troop managed to place itself in certain positions in society, sometimes even getting into positions from which they could determine the place of others who, while more capable, were less suitable to implement the strategic handling of the administration of the island.

The masses have managed to acclimatize to the daily grind and have been trained not for loyalty to an ideology, but for conformity to a way of life.

It is these apathetic beings that Osmel Almaguer talked about in his excellent posting, indolent, without criteria, lacking in energy  or only willing to use it to survive.

Belonging to this clan are:

– Those who go to meetings and raise their hands to avoid problems.
– Those who steal a little cooking oil or flour at work to eat at home.
– Those who leave the country hustling, because it is easier compromise with the body than to risk your life in a boat.
– Those who do not work, but “struggle” daily.
– Those who practice social indiscipline.
– Those university graduates who got there due to the task assigned to professors to meet the quotas for graduates in higher education.
– Those who say, “no, I don’t talk politics.”
– Those who say “for me, it’s all the same.”
– Those who say “don’t get all worked up, you’re in Cuba.”
– Those who say “that’s how it is.”

This motley bunch just does not realize that change is necessary and that it is your right to say so without being afraid. These are the apathetic people who never give their opinion, and they are the “masterpiece” of the Revolution. These are the ones that would not know which side to take if there was an abrupt break.

Coexisting with the apethtic today in Cuba are the troubled, the vociferous, those committed to the right to a better future. These are also those who are still enthusiastic, ardent supporters of entrenched ideas and popular indifference.

Those two segments of the population are at least aware of their ideals, but the apathetic masses is the most disturbing  and neglecting its workings is dangerous.

Dariela Aquique

Dariela Aquique: I remember my years as a high school student, especially that teacher who would interrupt the reading of works and who with surprising histrionics spoke of the real possibilities of knowing more about the truth of a country through its writers than through historical chronicles. From there came my passion for writing and literature. I had excellent teachers (sure, those were not the days of the Fast-track Teachers) and extemporization and the non-mastery of subjects was not tolerated. With humble pretenses, I want to contribute to revealing the truth about my country, where reality always overcomes fiction, but where a novel style shrouds its existence.

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