My neighborhood Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) has been without a head for about two months. The last president, who served for ten years, got tired of the task. He stepped down from that position at the same time that he retired from being an educator.
Yesterday they notified all the residents on the block that we would meet that evening with two or three directors from the area to select a new president.
The meeting began on time, something that was odd because it’s almost always the case that the first ones who arrive have to wait at least about 30 minutes for the rest of the cederistas (CDR members). The problem is that they always choose 7:00 p.m., the time when working mothers are wrapped up in the kitchen fixing dinner, school kids are doing their homework and older people are glued to the TV. On this occasion, fortunately, the attendance was massive and punctual.
The head of the area began the meeting. He spoke in recognition of how our CDR — though it’s been having some difficulties recently — traditionally fulfills the tasks assigned to it.
Then came the awaited moment: the selection of the head of the block.
Several the proposals were made. However the first nominee responded saying, “No way!” And another woman exclaimed, “I don’t even have time to sit down in front of the TV; how could I take on the presidency of the CDR.” This was followed by, “Who? Me? You know I’m in the middle of my master’s program. I’m sorry, but I can’t,” came from another resident. “I prefer to continue as an organizer. I can help in what I can, but without so many responsibilities,” explained the person who is presently acting as the interim president. Like this, some 10 people turned down the position for one reason or another.
Fortunately, a Party activist named Luci enthusiastically stepped forward and volunteered herself saying, “I’ll serve as president.”
Of course we all agreed, otherwise the meeting never would have ended. After all, she has lived on the block for five years, and though she has always worked outside the province, we know that she is a demanding, responsible and very hard-working person. What else could you look for in a president?
Luci wanted to say a few words before the closing of the meeting: “We’ve had problems in our committee. Many youth don’t participate in the clean-up activities, and we have comrades who don’t want to do night guard duty. With me things will be very different; it’s necessary to work, to serve, that way no one can complain when a letter shows up at their workplace or school saying they’re a bad cederista.
We all stood there dumbfounded. She hadn’t even begun in her position and she was already threatening. Though there’s the old saying “barking dogs don’t bite,” we can only hope this is the case. Time will have the last word.