A magnifying glass please

By Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Semanal)

HAVANA TIMES – When I was working as a journalist in my time in military life, I had a boss who, like few others, at a certain moment explained to us very illustratively how in Cuba nobody was responsible for anything under the protection that it was always someone else who had to bear the reprimands.

My superior, with the rank of general, was and is a man with a vast culture, intelligent and knowledgeable  of the most distant subjects from his profession.

Almost four decades have passed since then and, as the popular saying goes, “the little room is still the same.” There is not much variation in such behavior. People do not admit mistakes, instead they pass them on to the first one who stands in front, behind or to one side of them, and self-criticism, synonymous with honesty and courage, let someone from the garbage collection take it away.

The Cuban, regardless of the responsibility they have, from the simplest to the most complex, has a unique gift if we compare them with the rest of the world. They can argue with a certain sanity that they were not responsible for a certain fault that they want to blame them for.

The topic at hand can be exposed with multiple examples. Looking back I remember a cleaning person who did not fulfill her mission of keeping the place where she worked hygienic.

Someone reprimanded her, and the woman wasted no time in arguing that she did not have a mop bucket, that the head of services did not provide one for her. The head of services claimed this was the responsibility of the administrator who had not taken care of managing the necessary implements. A little further up the pyramid, the director of the company maintained that the year’s supplies were already exhausted according to the plan, that they should investigate where the hell the bucket had gone. And thus, to reaching higher where the concerns were others of greater weight and not a simple plastic utensil to clean a corridor.

All acquitted in a hypothetical trial without the need for a defense attorney.

If we take that reference to the “Little Room” to the present, we clearly see the large number of those responsible or not, who blame the gringo blockade with the reasons for not doing things well. They sleep as peacefully as that devotee who confesses with the priest, says a couple Our Father’s and three Hail Mary’s and solve the problem to be free of any sin.

The road we still have to go is long because we will always have someone justifying that we cannot move forward. The road, as a metaphor, could not be repaired because the man with the steamroller got married to a niece on the other end of the island and he won’t be going to work for a few days.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times