Sunday, May 20, 2012

One Hundred and Ten Years / Fernando Dámaso

One Hundred and Ten Years / Fernando Dámaso
Fernando Dámaso, Translator: Unstated

Tomorrow, the 20th, will mark 110 years of the establishment of the
Republic. Over here there will be no official celebrations and, if the
date is spoken of I'm sure it will be to discredit it, as has been
happening over the past half century.

However, the Republic, with its deficiencies, excesses, problems and
complexities, but also with its achievements, represents fifty-six years
of work and dedication of generations of Cubans in the task of building
a nation still, unfortunately, unfinished.

Fifty-six years of the Republic were dismantled and thrown overboard in
January 1959 with improvisations and absurdities and, also
unfortunately, without replacing them with something valuable and
enduring, in the last fifty-four years.

Today, in the government sphere, the word of the day is "to recover." In
practice, everything must be recovered but what is significant is that
this recovery doesn't refer to things from recent years, but rather from
the Republic.

The railroad that must be recovered is that of the Republic, and not
that of Socialism, always inefficient and disastrous. The productivity
we want to recover is that the Republic and not that of Socialism, which
never existed. The discipline and morality that we aspire to recover are
those of the Republic and not those of Socialism, which have been
conspicuous in their absence. The list could be endless, but a small
sample is sufficient.

If this is so and constitutes an undeniable reality, although officially
they don't want to recognize it, it means that in the years of the
Republic much more was achieved than in those of Socialism, and more
serious work was done to build a prosperous and modern nation.

Ultimately, the values that exists come from the Republic and it is
those that have been maintained and could not be destroyed during these
years, despite multiple attempts. If we made a tour of the city of
Havana, we would find that most of the avenues, streets, parks,
buildings, hospitals, schools, museums, cinemas, theaters, shops, etc.,
are due to the Republic. In addition, they were so well constructed
that, despite the neglect and lack of maintenance, they survive.

The same is true in other towns and cities. The Central Highway and the
Capitol building, built more than eighty years ago, are two fine
examples, compared to the disastrous National Highway and Conference
Center in a permanent state of being repaired. And this, according to
official propaganda, before being robbed blind! It seems that now, in
addition to "the diversion of resources,*" it was badly built. Examples
abound but don't bear repeating.

The Republic is an unforgettable milestone in the history of the nation.
Congratulations on the hundred and tenth anniversary of its establishment!

*Translator's note: the "diversion of resources" is the phrase commonly
used to refer to the theft endemic in Cuban society where people steal
from their jobs, in many cases for bare survival, in others for
self-enrichment. A similar term in constant use is "to resolve," which
means getting by however one can, that is with recourse to the black
market and other illegal activities. As, for all practical purposes, it
is impossible to survive in Cuba — to have a roof over one's head and
food to eat — without at a minimum trading in the black market, the
system forces everyone to be a criminal.

May 19 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment