It will be very difficult to forget that Thursday, the last day of the month. It was a Temas magazine exchange session, in which case the debate was reserved for the government at the base. Finally, to start thinking. We remember that the organizers came up with the happy idea of inviting the governor of the young province of Mayabeke, where they began to experiment with various ideas in the functioning of the local administration.
There were also scholars and even researchers who spoke in terms of their status as constituency delegates or polling station leaders. Everything went well. With anecdotes and opinions about whether forms of government have been effective or not, whether citizens really feel represented or not, and whether governments have autonomy or not.
There went straight lines and sway (never makes a face) when three people, a woman and two men, in very modest clothes, asked to speak. Hearing who they were, many held their breath. They were district delegates and spoke like this: with a conviction that did not come from Frufu; but about the heavy mission of representing those below.
Nobody invited them, they said. They were there because they found out from somewhere, and went to the meeting without a lot of protocols. His experience has been multicolored. One of them admitted that his position gave him diabetes and hypertension, but even so (he emphasized this with the tip of his finger pointing down, as if it were a hard seal) he does not regret anything, and that after his relatives he is the most expensive in this world were his constituents.
Where are these three angels? Now, as the country returns to the electoral process, the memory returns to these three delegates and their sense of ownership. How many of them will be in Cuba right now? If you want to be the best on this island, you have to pay attention to many people. But without a doubt, when you think about this government that has to reinvent itself every day, these men and women from below need to be looked at, listened to, and also protected.
Street-level management, anywhere and anytime in this world, will always lead an honest man to the path that Leonor Perez warned her son José Marti so much about: the path of the crucified.
Only there, in that root of dust, tears and sweat, in which the human is mixed with the divine, is the strength of the country. When the government at any of its levels distanced itself to some extent from this base, there was more trouble and suffering for the Revolution and for the State whose task it is to maintain it.
On the contrary, when the connection became closer, with less or no formalism, the revolution gained strength and showed its ability to overcome obstacles that many seemed insurmountable.
If there is a danger that the Cuban political project must foresee, it is that the administrative crowds out and eventually swallows up participation. Something similar was thought in the district assembly, seeing the highly formalized mechanical assistance that was in it. One of the reasons has been sung before: every approach from below had a justification from above. Nothing to say, and worst of all: nothing to transform.
Our structures of popular power must always move away from comfort. This comfort zone, which weighs down initiatives and accommodates gentrification, has one of its antidotes in relation to the base, in which the direction of direction and pressure can be not only from top to bottom, but also vice versa.
It is not in vain that in Cuba the government is called Force, but with an essential adjective: People’s. This word, tossed from time to time into the soup of speeches, is the most accurate compass of what is desired and possible.
Following him leads not to a solitary crucifixion, but to an encounter with other angels who, like the angels of that Thursday in Temas magazine, give anyone a healthy pride in calling themselves Cuban.
Source: Juventud Rebelde