Why I Would Vote NO in the Referendum on Cuba’s New Constitution

Erasmo Calzadilla

Photo: Bradys Barreras.

HAVANA TIMES – I would like to start off by saying that I’m not one of those people who believe that everything the Revolution has ever done, has been bad. On the contrary, I believe that the idea of a society without classes is brilliant, if it didn’t need to be imposed on its alleged beneficiaries using horrifying and violent means.

But even in practice, the way the Revolution has been carried out hasn’t been entirely off the mark either, the way I see it anyway. You just need to look around us and see the social problems that exist in neighboring countries, real biblical dimension disasters. (I’ve been living in the US for a couple of years now and have access to all kinds of media. Granma and TeleSur are no longer my only source of information.)

So, why would I vote NO and advocate for this?

Basically, because I believe that this “new” constitution is the enshrinement of everything bad that has been done up until now, plus the worst of recent times. It isn’t an attempt to rectify their mistakes, but to consolidate them.

The Cuban Communist Party’s guardianship has been the most macabre thing, or in other words, the alienation and political infantilization of an entire nation. The long-term effects of such an effort are aberrant; and from my point of view, it’s the root of what we normally call “anthropological damage”.

Let’s suppose that some of kind of guidance from “those who know” was necessary in the first phase of profound social transformation. I’m not convinced really but let’s just suppose this was the case. Well, at this point, after over six decades of wearing a diaper, the baby should already know how to walk on its own; or decide that it isn’t interested in walking down the road that has been proposed and set out on its own path instead.

But no, the never-ending mentoring of an “ignorant” people is being consecrated in the new Constitution (see Article 5) and the beautiful dream of an empowered population has once again been postponed.

Instead of gradually passing on the reins to his apprentice, like a good teacher would, these tutors are clinging onto them with all of their might. William Tell’s son, who could only see the crossbow in the Museo de la Revolucion’s showcase, is today an idiot politically-speaking. This is the only way I can explain the unprecedented expansion of so much intellectual poverty, of those who are for the Revolution and against it.

Where did those who appeared to think (the best fruit to come out of the Revolution) end up? They made their life impossible, they closed the door of institutions in their faces, they fenced it off, they invited them to leave.In summary, the work of these tutors failed and not because they were bad teachers exactly (which they were too), but for taking the easy route of eternalizing themselves in the comfortable and privileged position of power/knowledge; in the seat of power.

Revolutionary leaders became counterrevolutionaries in the worst possible way: wearing a mask and confusing half of the world, literally. They betrayed the emancipatory nature of the process that they themselves imposed.

This is why, I would vote NO if I were given the chance, even when I don’t see myself as someone who is pro-capitalism, when I feel like I am lightyears away from those angry “communist haters” that saturate the internet, because I believe that it is necessary to put a stop to the current dynamic of power that exists before it is too late. I would vote No because I long for an emancipatory project and not more of the same, or Capitalism returning to Cuba.

I believe that I would have voted NO ever since I was a teenager and heard this song for the first time, which somehow opened my eyes to the truth of everything. Now, I am almost an old man and I still haven’t been able to have a go at the crossbow.

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Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

Erasmo Calzadilla has 408 posts and counting. See all posts by Erasmo Calzadilla

One thought on “Why I Would Vote NO in the Referendum on Cuba’s New Constitution

  • Guillermo Tell is a STUPID song.

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