My Friend the Communist

By Pedro Pablo Morejon

The headquarters of the provintial Communist Party

HAVANA TIMES – He’s a communist, but we are friends. We don’t have to be the best of friends because friendship varies to many degrees. This can range from a person who you like, who you’ve only exchanged a few words with, to the person who knows a lot about you because they share these things with you and you think of them as a brother/sister.

He also isn’t a communist through and through. At least in my view of him, which isn’t free of bias. Because communist… well, I don’t know anybody in Cuba who is a real communist.

He is a low-level Cuban Communist Party official in my province, and I’ve known him for years. Ever since he used to walk, and even though I’m not a psychologist, I know his profile. He comes from a humble family, isn’t especially talented, nor could he be called a bad person. Rather he is a friendly and simple man.

I have always seen a great willingness in him to help others. I don’t believe he does this because of demagogy. As I’ve already written, I’ve known him for years. Maybe he has some privileges. I don’t feel like I have the right to judge him.  He is one of those people you would put into the “indoctrinated” category.

We have spoken lots of times, although I never openly expressed my ideas. However, I’m guessing he imagines what they are. Especially after we ran into each other at that farce of a public debate, held regarding the draft Constitution. It was “approved” in the end by the majority of the population in a referendum.

He acted as one of the members of the Party duo that chaired that debate.

I knew that any proposal to amend core aspects of the Carta Magna would be in vain. The suggestions would never be accepted, since the document came from a totalitarian regime. 

My proposal

Nonetheless, I decided to propose some amendments, out of civic duty rather than pragmatism. These would be in keeping with a Constitution that is truly democratic.

  1. Removing Article 5 of the Constitution where the governing nature and the Communist Party’s ruling political force is outlined.
  2. Adding in Article 42, that in addition to the right to not be discriminated against for one’s sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ethnic origin, skin color, religious beliefs, disability, national or regional origins, Cuban citizens would also not be discriminated against for their political beliefs.
  3. The direct election of President of the Republic, in the running with other candidates.

It goes without saying that my proposals fell on deaf ears. I was told to write them down on a piece of paper. This, after clumsy reasons on why the “Party” must continue to be the ruling political and superior force in society. I imagine my communist friend was left stunned. He wasn’t expecting me to make such a proposal.

But we’ve run into each other on more than one occasion since then, when he gives me a lift. He never mentions that day at the meeting.

I can’t see members of the so-called Revolution, but who haven’t committed abuse or crimes, as enemies. I see them as Cubans who, for whatever reason, took up this ideology. Unfortunately, these are still many.

Whether we like them or not, they are still fellow citizens, just like my friend is.

Read more diary posts by Pedro Pablo Morejon

Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

11 thoughts on “My Friend the Communist

  • September 16, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Dani, the Communist Party is Cuba is usually far more subtle in how they stifle opposition. The “dungeon” option remains but they also use other tactics. They refuse entry into Cuban universities. They reject promotions in government jobs and fail to renew licenses for private businesses. The Party, albeit small as a percentage of the population is all- powerful in Cuba. Non-party members rarely rise above the middle class. But, as you suggested, the dungeon remains an option.

  • September 15, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Sandra Lally makes very good points. I note that the comment states a ‘segment’ of Cuban-Americans. This is absolutely correct. trump is desperate for votes from traditional old school Floridian Cubans. But these days he cannot be so sure of the votes of a younger generation of that demographic.
    There are many Cuban-Americans who most certainly would not give their support to rabid ultra right conservatives such as the likes of trump.

  • September 15, 2020 at 7:16 am

    ¿Qué le pasa a ese segmento de los cubanoamericanos en Florida que siente a Trump, un conocido mentiroso patológico, un hombre que pone bebés en jaulas, un hombre que denigra a los discapacitados, las mujeres que no son de ¨su gusto ¨ y alguien que ADMITE que él respeta y admira a Putin, Xi y otros líderes autoritarios. Su propia hermana, que anteriormente fue juez federal, dice que es repugnante y no apto para dirigir. La mayor parte de su personal designado, los generales y el personal de la Casa Blanca, renunciaron disgustados después de descubrir que no era un líder apto. A los cubanos en Florida que le tienen miedo a Biden, entonces no vengan nunca a Canadá … tenemos medicinas gratis y muchos servicios gratuitos para ayudar a los pobres, ancianos y discapacitados. No le gustaría nuestro país o nuestro Primer Ministro Trudeau porque a sus ojos somos socialistas malvados, al igual que muchos países bálticos e ingleses como Inglaterra, Australia, Nueva Zelanda. ¿Eres tan ignorante del mundo? A los cubanos que ven más allá de la maldad de Trump, un racista, hable con sus compañeros floridanos y demuéstreles que Canadá e Inglaterra no son sociedades malvadas que carecen de libertad de ningún tipo. So Floridians who like Trump, note that this article talks of communism, not democratic socialism. Educate yourselves please! He lied to you all about the COVID .. his own words caught on tape!

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