I have the impression (subjective in the end and even mistaken) that the only “Battle of Ideas” has its place in virtual sites and in mass broadcasting media. On the street, people can’t be more aligned. Any group starts talking about soccer, or the start of school, and they end up talking about “the thing;” and if they talk about money or food, the temperature rises a few degrees more. There are some — in general the private workers and those who protect their employee “benefits” with the State — who tend to be more discreet, but end up like “those people” or “that gentleman,” which are understood by any Cuban to be the polite version but full of disdain towards our leaders.
Saturday on the P-3 bus detained at the stop at the zoo, a young person behind me signaled to his companion with certainty to the building ahead and said, “Aldo the Aldeano lives there. Talking about the hip hop of Los Aldeanos was like a sign to start a somewhat disjointed, but absolutely critical, conversation of the situation of the country. Soon the whole back of the bus exchanged frustrations and found catharsis, and not a single passenger, not one, articulated a timid defense of the government in general or the reforms in particular. I got off in La Vibora leaving that spontaneous tribune in full swing.
I don’t know if there remains an appointed branch of the Ideological Department of the Central Committee of the Party; Opinion of the People, which as it name clarifies, compiles the popular sentiment with diverse intentions. But if the trimmings of the Raulist updating happen to close the aforementioned branch, our president, or his son, or his grandson, should imitate this modern version of Harun Al-Rashid, of whom it is said that she went out to traverse his capital on a motorcycle camouflaged in her helmet. Maybe in this way those in leadership could find out first hand and without adornment how “the thing” goes, since they won’t dare to ride a bus.
9 September 2013