The Magic Number / Fernando Dámaso

Fidel Castro will turn 90 in August.

Fernando Dámaso, 1 July 2016 — In 2016, the number “90” has taken on a major importance for Cuba’s government authorities. The unleashed hysteria of the cult of personality means that, since December of 2015 government agencies and institutions have been ordered to “dedicate absolutely all their actions” to this magic number, which represents the age that the “ancient Maximum Leader” will reach in August.

Never before in History as the celebration of such an anniversary been extended for such a length of time, an original of “socialism a la Cuba” which, certainly, should be entered into the Guinness Book of Records.

In honor of “90” forest workers have planted ninety ceders, the National Archive has organized an exhibition of “Ninety Images from a Life,” the “Art on La Rampa” Fair is dedicated to those 90 years and shows “Soldier of Ideas,” the Young Communist Union has “90 reasons to dream,” commemorating them is the main task of the unions, singers dedicated 90 songs to them, musicians ninety guitars, librarians ninety books, kids ninety smiles, old people 90 claps, and so on to total boredom.

Imbued with such a “national celebration” I suggest that, for the rest of the year, the Ministry of Public Health proposes to reach 90 cases of Zika, the National Commission on Viability and Traffic 90 car crashes, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Harvest Collection stop collecting 90 tons a month of harvested tubers, the National Hydraulic Institute ensure 90 leaks in every aqueduct, the Municipal People’s Power Administration maintain 90 active potholes, the Electric Company produce 90 blackouts in the City of Havana, and we have no less than 90 monthly building collapses.

There could be many more initiatives, the “importance” of the date merits them. Those who ordered this demented commemoration forgot that, in advertising, when the “message” saturates the receptor, it has the opposite effect. This is what is happening.