14ymedio, Rodolfo Santacruz Castillo, Camagüey, 20 February 2021 — A few days ago, I attended one of those useless union meetings that, as a dogma, we have converted into a common practice in the workplace, where supposedly we have to discuss non-conformities and talk about something as sacred and at the same time as outrageous as the collective agreement. Meetings that have lost their essence and are the ideal platform for the bureaucrats to direct, fight and order their workers to continue on and end up praising the Revolution as always.
I decided to listen and try to interpret that row of words that came out in order, almost perfect, almost copied, almost real, almost thought for themselves by someone who, from the comfort of a desk, and with air conditioning, directs the miracle of production.
Making uncomfortable jokes, the official gave us her perception of the events of the San Isidro Movement and the youth of 27N [27 November]. “We will not let the conquests of the Revolution be taken away from us,” she said, surely alluding to the usual cliché: that we have free health and education. The truth, however, is that every day there are more of us who observe things differently.
The daily shortages in all areas invite us to reflect: seeing ourselves in the 21st century suffering from these ills, in a land as rich as Cuba, can only be a symptom of bad administration, of a total lack of progressive economic actions.
Madam director, executive, civil servant, boss, and however many names can be obtained, let’s talk about healthcare, free healthcare: do you know how many countries in the world that are not socialist have a public, free and quality health system? There are many. If you go out onto the streets of Cuba today, try to find, in that conquest of the Revolution, various medications for conditions as normal as a headache or an infection. “There is nothing,” accompanied by a shrug, will be the answer from behind the pharmacy counter.
In how many dental clinics is the care provided to the population suspended due to lack of water? In how many hospitals in Cuba are elective or not so urgent surgeries suspended for this same reason? Or for lack of gloves, tape, sutures or because important equipment is broken and the part to fix it are delayed, or for thousands of reasons that all of us at some point have heard and even suffered firsthand.
The current physical state of hospitals, polyclinics and medical offices is dire, the feeding of admitted patients leaves much to be desired, getting an appointment for specific tests that use advanced technologies is so complicated and time consuming that it can be classified as lacking humanity.
Is that the revolutionary conquest that you show off to the world, offering a service this mediocre for free, full of deficiencies, badly set, badly directed? I am not talking about the healthcare that appears in the news, which ordinary Cubans cannot access (the Cimeq, the Clínica Internacional Cira García, the Censam Marine…)..
The communist double standard is a latent fact, since it promotes what is convenient for it. The hidden face of these achievements is a people who pay the astronomical salaries of those who neither produce nor are capable of making a better society. It may be that this is a conquest, forgive me, Madam Chief.
The real Cuban healthcare system, the one for ordinary Cubans, is far from being what is sold to the world, and it is nothing more than a sham that does not address the scarcities suffered by the population. A huge percentage of competent doctors need to go to another country to look for what they cannot acquire in their own country, and for a few years they have been compulsively training new doctors, discarding the standards and skills for a profession as dignified as this, giving space to mediocrity and the possibility of being a doctor to people who shouldn’t be one.
And that is the other famous achievement of the Revolution, education. With the desire to make everyone a professional, we find a society that has thousands of mediocre people who believe they have a degree, who shame those who did deserve it and made an effort by the correct means, and at the same time they cannot lower themselves to work the land.
Real teachers have disappeared from education, and a television set tries, during the pandemic, to replace the irreplaceable. The schools in every municipality are falling apart and the children learn half of what they need to know, because doubts cannot be resolved by unmotivated new teachers, who simply chose that career in many cases so as not to spend two years in military service.
And what about the current status of boarding schools in pre-university study centers (those that still have boarding schools), or the housing conditions in Cuban universities, or the food of the country’s future professionals? If seeing it is despicable, living it is more painful than can be explained in a simple publication.
The greatest achievements of the Revolution are, today, its great shame. Even so, we try to cover the sun with a finger. It is sad that because what you fought for and suffered so many nights of insomnia over does not provide you with a dignified life, it does not give you what you need to start a family and rejuvenate the aging Cuban society. It is painful to see that your efforts are slowed down by deficiencies and, on many occasions, by those achievements that the senior management wants to continue defending.
Cubans, there are no such achievements, they are only the facades of an incapable, immoral, corrupt and overwhelming system, a conglomerate of pirates and criminals that has been violating and subduing a suffering people for years and that is losing its essence. We continue with our heads down, standing in line for everything, trying to survive and fighting, while at the top they observe us like feudal lords, disguising with the word socialism or communism a useless ideological monstrosity that has never worked and never will work.
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