Rebeca Monzo, Translator: Adrian Rodriguez
Paternalism. Social doctrine in which the relationship of the employer
and his employees is similar to the ones existing between family
members. That's the entry for this word on the Larousse dictionary.
Lately the national TV news, the same one I try to avoid if at all
possible because I can not relax when I see it for more than two
minutes, is covering the Party assemblies that are happening all over
the island. I turned on the TV trying to find something interesting to
watch and because I couldn't find anything, I briefly watched the
coverage of one of these assemblies. This one in particular was
happening in the Santa Clara province. One of the participants said very
seriously, that if the cows gave milk every day it was because they ate
every day. Because I had turned the TV on when the assembly was already
in session for a while I couldn't appreciate if it was a joke or not. At
this point one of the members at the table, fat neck and a guayabera
shirt, said, putting a lot of emphasis on his statement, that we have to
put an end to the paternalism.
And I asked to myself: Who imposed the paternalism as a system in our
country? Whom did they ask for permission for to apply it?
This is the grocery store where you are enrolled to be a customer.
This is the ration card that you have to use to purchase.
This is the quota of food you are allowed to buy.
This is the medical center that you have to go when you need attention.
This is the doctor assigned to you.
This is the doctor's office where you have to go as a patient.
This is the daycare your son has to go to.
This is the school assigned to him.
This is the teacher that will teach him.
These are the college careers that you can choose from.
This is the career that your son must study.
And on, and on, the list could be interminable. Without counting the
many years that toys and clothing were assigned to you depending which
group's turn it was to buy and depending also at which store your
coupons were assigned.
Translated by Adrian Rodriguez
June 20 2011