"Cuba Says" But No One Answers
September 23, 2013 | Print |
HAVANA TIMES — Cuba dice ("Cuba Says") is a segment of Cuba's national
news broadcast that has been on the air for some time now.
The segment consists of journalistic reports that cover problems or
difficulties Cubans face on a daily basis, from the purchase or
acquisition of building materials to public transportation and other issues.
These reports cast a critical glance at these realities through
interviews with the individuals affected and the government officials
responsible for them, who are called on to account for the problems
It's true we've needed a segment like this on television for a long
time, but I think it's still not enough. It's not enough to see Thalia
Gonzalez (who often hosts the segment) rub salt on the wounds and tell
us what we already know too well.
What we need to do is cure the wound once and for all. The only thing
these types of programs do is afford us a space for catharsis and give
people the semblance of a critical, free and opinionated journalism.
It's also a forum where we hear government representatives give the same
answers again and again.
Their answers are always along the lines of: "we acknowledge we have
these problems" and "we can assure the public we're working to find a
solution as quickly as we can."
On the other hand, people's comments are often rather shy. They're mere
complaints, examples drawn from their personal experiences, an anecdote
where we find out they've being trying to get their hands on building
materials for over five months and the shipments haven't arrived, or
that, once they've arrived, it turns out there's not enough for everyone.
We never see anyone who's truly angry, as we see in real life. We Cubans
aren't like that. I imagine that, in front of the TV cameras, most
people are afraid to be too severe in their criticisms or to call things
by their name, without beating around the bush.
Some even act as apologists and say things like "yeah, it's true, there
are delays, there are problems, but the service is good anyways." In
other words, they make excuses. We know that isn't the case, that we've
had very serious problems for a long time, and that this is in part
because people have become accustomed to them, as though they were normal.
Time passes and few are the things that actually change. However, we've
got a nice little TV program where we can complain, so that it looks as
though Cuba is saying something. The question is: who's answering and is
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