The Inspector / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Translator: Unstated
Down San Miguel. Up Guines. Walking between the suburban hills and the
uncivil garbage at every corner in the neighborhood. With his pristine
guayabera and his black briefcase as ridiculous as his dyed mustache.
He's the restaurant inspector from the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.
The Chief Inspector who oversees the private businesses of this whole
municipality, who imposes fines and takes away licenses in bulk.
For this he prefers to go in the mornings. For this he inspects. For
this the Revolutionary State of the 21st century island pays him.
Everything in order, it seems. And for this, too, before continuing his
tour as amateur rip-off artist, he brazenly asks for a little bill of 50
or 100 (in "National Money" of course, no one should be scandalized: it
is said, even with gratitude, that the tariff is almost a royal
prerogative for what the new national entrepreneurial class earns).
Fidel Castro was right, damn it, At this point in a history without
histology, we Cubans should no longer have the right to "play at
capitalism." At the first opportunity, we turn ourselves doubly into
vermin: we embezzle the dinosaur State tax, and extort the poor idiot
proprietor, incapable of protest from panic over not being able to
extract himself from his solvent misery.
The same mafia scene is everywhere, except in the media of the Island of
Freedom, terrain that is going to swallow the trance of transition or
perhaps the Raul regime transaction. Meanwhile, the larger and more
glamorous the business (the dreamy private restaurants of Brave New
Vedado, for example), the worse the dark drinking binge, reflection of
the secrecy we as a nation are used to. It's already been said by Marti,
The Great Moralizer (or was he The Little Prince, this story straight
out of the The Golden Age): in politics what matters is invisible to the
eyes, it can't be seen well if not with the heart with which we survive.
If the Cuban Parliament is silent on questions of major significance,
why opportunistically denounce a Kafkaesque bastard inspector?
Then come the close bribes of the second kind. I will pay you not to
fine me, and on top of that I will pay you to fine my neighbor so I will
win customers in the competition. And, if in the midst of this labyrinth
of hidden corruption, I can complicate it for you with a little Cannabis
or Yankee cable TV or Pornography or Counterrevolution (The Four
Horsemen of the ApoCubalypse), all the better!
Of course, we should speak elsewhere about the posts purchased in the
hard currency market of CUCs. We should be addressing the issue of the
tariffs privileged workers must pay daily to their managers (in stores,
banks, gas stations and other deliverers of delicacies), to avoid being
fired or implicated in a legal case (of those that exploit the internet
and make them think that now is really the fabled end of the Revolution,
when we are only at its beginning).
Better we not speak of the labor unions of organized cadavers. Let's not
go all Latin Americanista, please. Every daybreak takes its time,
according to the period of radioactive decay of certain isotopes of
presidential clinical use. The capos of our narco-heaven could sit and
wait for new measures of economic liberalization, as well as for the
dripping contamination of the security organs. Cuba falls, but calmly,
gentlemen. Let's not put the barbarity in front of the mask (the
permanent utopia is a question of image). For now, he's barely a pocket
swine with his little neighborhood billfold of 50s and 100s in local
April 26 2012