Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And If Nothing Happens? / Reinaldo Escobar

And If Nothing Happens? / Reinaldo Escobar
Reinaldo Escobar, Translator: Unstated

It is less than three weeks until the First National Conference of the
Communist Party of Cuba, and it seems that almost no one cares about
what will happen there. Perhaps we haven't lost the habit of events like
these coming accompanied by billboards, posters, TV spots, heroic
exploits of labor dedicated to them, and other things of that type,
perhaps the sober publicity already forms a part of the Party's new
methods with which it wishes to inaugurate this conference. I don't
know, the truth is that the lack of enthusiasm doesn't correspond to the
importance that this occasion should have, where the 'historic
generation' that started this process will have a final opportunity to
clarify their intentions regarding the future of the Nation.

As a responsible citizen I feel that I have a civic duty to express
myself, going through the steps ahead of time of overcoming the dilemma
between giving and denying legitimacy to those people called together by
the Party. The easiest thing would be to declare those days a vacation,
and to pay no attention to what is agreed on there. But I live in a
country where the current constitution establishes that it is this Party
that commands and leads, leaving me no choice but to listen and hope.

January 28, 2012 is a new opportunity to pay attention. We cannot
discount the possibility that the delegate from Piedrecitas, or the
young secretary from a unit in Magarabomba, may take it in mind to rub
salt in the wound in the middle of a plenary session, and that, through
a window inadvertently left open, a fresh wind might blow in to awaken
the entire paralysis. If nothing happens, that is to say if the boring
unanimity prevails, if no one appears who dares to say, with total
clarity, "my mouth is my own," if amid the rhythmic applause they
approve by proclamation the same concepts that currently tie our hands
and isolate us, if in the end the Conference becomes more of the same,
then we will see how those who expected something react. I suppose that
at least they won't add to the applause, and they will take one more
step up in the shadows, that is if they are not afraid to live.

9 January 2012


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