The Long Road to Recovery / Rebeca Monzo

Holding on to my patience I managed to watch the National TV News (NTV) for a while. I had to make sure I kept calm in order to avoid getting a heart attack watching the images and listening to the scripted nonsense repeated by our announcers, as if it were a program intended for idiots.

It turned out that they announce that they are “gradually” bringing the streetlights back into action in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy which devastated the province of Santiago de Cuba, leaving things in a terrible state — as if it was a great event. More than that, what insulted me even more was that they were saying that they were commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the attack on the Moncada barracks, as opposed to the hundreds of unfortunate victims, who still haven’t recovered the losses occasioned by the hurricane, fundamentally due to the accumulated misery of decades, which made it impossible for them to carry out proper maintenance to their houses.

It’s an embarrassment that after so many months they are saying that they are “gradually” restoring street lighting to the streets and avenues, knowing that crime and danger are directly supported by darkness. What’s more, they appear to be avoiding the dietary deficiencies confronting the people of Santiago de Cuba, whose poor income doesn’t permit them to feed themselves properly, and to recover from the damage caused by the atmospheric phenomenon. All of that, without even mentioning that much of the donations sent from different countries were not distributed without charge, as might be expected by the people sending them, but were sold at high prices.

I was even more insulted when recently the representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in our country had the nerve and lack of seriousness to publicly announce that we were one of the best fed people not only in America but in the world. It seems that this man forgot that here, when kids get to three years of age they lose their compotes, and at seven their milk, quite apart from the major sacrifices their parents have to make from when they are born, simply because of the lack of material resources.

Now, furthermore, a psychologist, whom I thought up to today was a reasonable person, has volunteered to sign in the Granma daily an article in which he completely justifies our country’s misery, calling it “The Cuban Model of Wellbeing”. What’s more he puts forward as a great example to be followed the fact that in Cuba everybody knows exactly who their neighbors are and what they are doing, when in reality it is no more than meddling in someone else’s life, and not “socializing,” which is what ll of us, one way or another, have had to suffer.

Translated by GH

16 May 2013