Several years ago we often heard talk in the Cuban media about architectural barriers. Eliminating them is a goal injected some years ago in our national actions and lexicon by the teams of town criers from the government, who have tuned their radar pay attention to campaigns undertaken by international agencies like the UN, FAO, UNESCO, WHO, PHO, etc., in order to blow their own horn without muting their propaganda and showing those entities and the world the achievements of the 50-year revolution.
Since childhood I have heard reference to the immodesty of people who praise themselves, using the phrase: “they doh’t have a grandma.” Such lack of humility corresponds in many respects with the boastful conduct of the Cuban government.
The eradication of architectural obstacles is a consideration that many countries have incorporated into their urban aesthetic and laws, and they quietly implement them out of respect for the mothers who travel the streets with their baby strollers, the physically disabled who cross in wheelchairs and the rights and quality of life of others in general.
Here they made of that project a cloying campaign with which they saturated — among other always present historical-political themes — our communications media and showed it on television with such enthusiasm that it seemed a native initiative. The lack of information is a blindfold that limits the capacity of Cubans to freely think and discern.
The aspiration, in Cuba, of fixing in pitfalls of the streets and sidewalks in our neighborhoods is great, but it advances little and badly. Of course there are exceptions, but generally the ramps that they put on the corners to climb to the sidewalks constitute an obstruction themselves because of how misshapen and badly made they are.
And don’t mention the number of broken sidewalks that we have seen in different parts of our city for decades! They symbolize the architectural barriers because of indolence that belie and disprove the good will of the leaders of this subject.
It seems that the authorities quickly grabbed this international baton to direct the orchestra of bungling and mediocrity, but they noticed later that the project required the investment of great quantities of cement, an important exportable item for the state for years.
In short, that campaign initiated years ago in our country, like so many other matters, became more tall story than movie. It is regrettable that they have converted all of Cuba into a country of obstacles. That’s why we don’t stop advocating for the project of eliminating physical, moral and legal obstacles that impede the travel of Cubans through our streets, but also of all those that cloud our senses, blind our comprehension of the world and prevent us from inserting ourselves, in full use of our sovereign faculties, in the concert of the world’s democratic countries.
Translated by mlk.
5 December 2013