Pedro P. Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – Ever since I was five years old and began school, I’ve been told what is right and what is wrong. They wanted to teach me how to become like Che, who I only knew what I was told about him. I was made to repeat hollow slogans and mottos. They decided what I had to learn, what I didn’t have to learn. What I should and shouldn’t believe. That was my entire life as a student.
When I was 14 years old, I was signed up to Cuba’s largest, and heartless, mass organization the CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution). I was never asked whether I wanted to join, or whether I wanted to pay the dues or be a look-out.
When I was 18, I was conscripted into the Military Service, which is compulsory here. The Criminal Code stipulates that you can go to jail for up to two years if you refuse to do it. We were still disciples there. I learned to be a member of the infantry, strategy-making and how to handle war weapons, especially AKMs. However, the key thing was making me believe that my greatest enemy was only a few miles to the north, separated by a sea.
I will never forget the boring speech a high-ranking officer (a fanatic and fundamentalist, or maybe an opportunist to the max, you never know) gave us when he praised the Revolutionary Armed Force’s fighting capacity, in the case of a hypothetical US invasion He claimed the US troops would bite the dust on the battlefield.
The end of my military service finally came. I couldn’t wait for that moment to come. I believed I was free because at the end of the day, and as a popular saying we have here goes: “guard and prisoner are the same.”
But, that wasn’t the case. They want to control you until you die. This continues in the workplace, where I would hear a boss saying a hateful phrase: “sense of belonging” so as to manipulate others into doing what they wanted. Ah, and I have to form part of a union, even though the only thing it really shares with a real union is its name.
They also want me to go out and march on certain days, to sign public statements which support causes I don’t believe in… Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you are a good person, a hard-working, honorable, qualified or honest employee. The only thing that matters is being a good lamb and to join the troupe. That’s it.
What is the future they want to give me in return? Old age with a miserly pension that comes from wages that are just as miserly. And to be obedient… until death.
I see poor old people selling roasted peanuts, newspapers and plastic bags, etc. nearly every day. Or looking for cans or other things in garbage cans, when you would expect them to be resting in the final strait of their lives.
This has been decreed. It isn’t in writing, but it’s real. People don’t even pick up on it, but it forms part of the programming of every Cuban. It is a decree that has been designed to turn us all into numbers, into subjects without self-determination, who contribute to the happiness of those who couldn’t give a flying cucumber about our wellbeing. Us feeling empty and unhappy. So that we become fanatics and idol worshippers.
The evil and submissive masses. This mass that is made up of robots, soulless people, who don’t have their own opinions because they are based on beliefs that have been instilled into our brains, as they have stripped us of our ability to think for ourselves, whether that was out of convenience, for survival purposes or in order to avoid problems.
However, it turns out that the people laying down the Law are only doing this because they hold the reins of power and its privileges. They need submissive people in order to ensure their carnival. That’s why I say, don’t count me in. I don’t like this troupe, plus, I never learned to dance.