Second Act / Rosa Maria Rodriguez Torrado

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The Cuban government is a joke. They make us participate in elections in which we have to elect a member of their party to represent us to them? Judge and Jury? The conflict of interest mold has been broken!

The second act of the Cuban election parody occurred this Sunday, November 4. I’m not joking, nor do I place it under the comedy genre that it deserves; the truth is that we who are mocked make up the majority of the Cuban people. They entertain us with a low budget and badly written play, although it is well directed, and with excellent actors. And so it is justifiable that in violation of our civil rights, we respond with the caustic and harmless weapons within our reach, rather than continue to legitimize them for other reasons — among them officially directed intimidation — and the dirty and antidemocratic totalitarian games.

They have already elected in the second round from my own neighborhood, the municipal delegates that will offer the “ugly face” of executive inability to the demands of their constituency. They are controlled by the resources they have at their disposal and they distribute them with much propaganda, based on their needs and interest. They also continue to emphasize what they give us, which reminds me of the refrain “favor taken, favor defecated.” It is probable that in any country with a president who is a friend to Cuba – that is to the Cuban elite leadership — perhaps they lack no goods coming from us.

However, the delegates to the Popular Power popular power do not have the authority nor the capital to patch the streets of their locality, fix the burst pipes, replace neighborhood lighting, the park lamps or to repair a damaged sewer pipe and prevent pollution. The most important tasks of the elected will be to go to all the bureaucratic-partisan meetings with the basic purposes of “raising” the demands of the population of their territory on the one hand, and on the other, to listen to negative “justifications” of authorities.

The U.S. blockade facilitates the inadequacies of the unproductive and centralized sociopolitical and economic system that has anchored Cuba in backwardness; they use it to justify their inadequacies.

Many acquaintances and friends have always voted. They are fearful since there are hidden cameras placed in the voting booths. They leave their finger prints on the ballot to prevent annulment. Many ask if the rumor started in the office of the political police, but they are also fearful of risking their good citizenship status, which the authorities for sure would use to publicly scorn them through their organizational network.

The precedent exists of people who lost their jobs because they did not vote, or students who have been denied admission at the university, or expelled from school for the same reason. Of course, that unleashed long ago the submission of citizens to participate in the electoral process so that they can guarantee the well-being of their family. So, to make more effective their suspicions and thick files, the law does not mandate voting, but at any rate, they surreptitiously force people to vote. What a joke! No?

That’s why, between my friends and acquaintances, almost no one cares who are the candidates, and even less about who was elected, because at the end of the day, what’s the difference?

November 6 2012