HAVANA TIMES — The 7th Summit of the Americas held in Panama has pulled psychologist Sucelys Morfa Gonzalez, Second Secretary of Cuba’s Young Communists League (UJC) out of her official anonymity and turned her into a memorable character – for the time being, at least.
On Monday, Morfa was received as a heroine at the foot of the steps of the plane that took her back to Havana along with the Cuban delegation that attended the civil society fora at the Summit.
“We came back filled with courage and determination,” Morfa said on behalf of the group that was welcomed by Salvador Mesa Valdes, member of the Politburo and Council of State, and other government leaders.
According to the young woman, Cuba’s official delegation participated in the Panama Summit in “a hostile and hegemonic environment.”
“We not only attended the Summit, we also actively participated and exposed what is most genuine about our country (…) It was our responsibility to hold Cuba’s name high and to speak on behalf of Venezuela and others who aren’t heard also,” the UJC leader added during declarations for Cuba’s Granma newspaper.
Wealthy in Cuba
The 31-year-old official became notorious in social media as of last weekend, after irately stating she had paid for her trip and that she is “rich in Cuba,” in response to questions posed by Univision 23 reporter Mario Vallejo.
“They’re lackeys, they’re mercenaries, they’re self-financed, they are badly-paid imperialist agents,” the young woman said before the cameras, referring to the members of Cuba’s opposition present at the Summit. Vallejo then asked who paid for her trip and those of her compatriots.
“No one!” she snapped back. “The people of Cuba. I paid for my own ticket. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology.”
“But you earn 20 dollars a month,” the journalist retorted.
“Who told you I earn 20 dollars a month? Do your homework, the economic model is being updated and we are rich, we saved up to come here so that our voices can be heard,” the psychologist replied at the top of her lungs, with an irate look on her face.
Morfa’s replies – and her screaming in particular – have been the object of mockery, caricatures and memes in social networks. A satirical rap has even been dedicated to her.
Long-Standing Government Official
In Panama, Morfa acted as part of Cuba’s pro-government representatives who attended the Summit’s parallel forums (the Youth Forum, in her case).
Morfa was born in Cienfuegos and was the UJC provincial secretary until 2013, when she was promoted to Second Secretary of the National Committee of this communist organization. Until that time, she had been a leader at different levels of the UJC for 11 years, from the municipal to the provincial level, such that she has been unable to practice psychology in this time.
Cuban government representatives stirred up protests during the civil society and democratic governability forum, preventing the holding of panels and demanding that members of Cuba’s dissident movements who had traveled to Panama to participate in the Summit be excluded from debates.
The actions of Cuba’s delegation are being celebrated as an “honorable mission” by the island’s official press, with headlines such as “The Firmness and Courage of Cubans in Panama” and “We Defended the Values of our People For Many Intense Days.”