The Hijacking Of An Identity / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar

The Palace of Conventions during the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. (EFE)
The Palace of Conventions during the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 29 February 2016 — To make us believe that the thousand delegates to the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba represent the places they come from, the newspaper Granma published today a kind of editorial, under the title “The face of a country in the Party Congress.”

With statistical data on the age and sex of those chosen, the high number of university graduates, the diversity of occupations and the proportion in which all regions of the country are represented, the report originating in the Department of Organization and Policy of the Cadres of the Party Central Committee, aims to convince readers that these 1,000 are something like a biopsy of 11 million.

From what country, then, are the more than 10,000 who in recent months have invaded Central America to find their way to the United States? What is the nationality of the more than one and a half million voters who chose to abstain or annul their ballots in the last elections for the People’s Power Municipal Assemblies? What is the appropriate adjective for those on this island who are criminals, committing social “indisciplines,” “diverting resources” (i.e. stealing from their workplaces), receiving merchandise of doubtful provenance? Are those millions who have settled in exile not Cubans? Are the thousands who are active in dozens of opposition organizations not Cubans? Are the hundreds who go out into the streets to protest and are harassed, beaten or arrested not Cubans?

The face of this country does not seem to resemble in the least the profile that is encompassed in the dilemmas and confusions that today afflict the authentic Communist militancy, nor the mask of unwavering intransigence with which they want to cover up the deep frustration and opportunism of those who applaud from commitment.

That the Communists are invited to participate in a national debate is a reasonable and fair proposal, but to pretend that decisions that affect the entire nation for the next five years are taken in a conclave where only they participate, is little more than an aberration.

The face of Cuba is more plural than the Party faithful.