The Power That Has No Power / Rebeca Monzo

Yesterday afternoon, quite by accident, I bumped into one of the activists with the CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution) on my block. I have known her for many years, since 1971, when I moved to this apartment where I currently live. Although we have never been friends, since we have nothing in common, at one point, when her children were little and she was facing a major crisis, I helped her in any way I could. That was our first and most significant interaction.

I mention this to make it clear that we have never been friendly or intimate enough for her to agree to be the bearer of a stern message from a mutual friend, whom I love and respect because of her kind heart and in spite her extremely uninhibited and even crude language and our diametrically opposed political views. The two of us manage to overlook this, but what I cannot accept is for her to send me threatening messages insisting I attend a meeting being held later today to choose candidates for the well-known People’s Power elections, which we all know are of no consequence.

After she gave me the message, I told the messenger to tell her that she already talked to me yesterday, and I am very sorry, but I will not attend, and she knows quite well that I have not done so for many years.That I only went to the initial meetings, thinking something would get done, but as that was not the case, I decided not to waste my time.

That I do not believe in my country’s elections and, since attendance is voluntary and voting is a right and not a duty, I am abiding by my choice and my right.

That when a delegate is elected with enough power and resources to see to it that trash gets picked up daily, that mass transit improves, that streets are swept and cleaned, the potholes and leaks are fixed, street lighting is adequate, and who represents us and defends our rights, then I will not only attend, I will be the first in line. But as long as we still have this Power that has no power, she can count me out.

September 14 2012