Nanoshame

Granma, Granma, Granma… Fidel Castro Díaz Balart, oldest son of the former Cuban president, was the featured subject of the eighth and last page of the national newspaper Granma, which in turn – for those who do not know it – is the official press and propaganda organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, the only political organization allowed in my country. Rather than an interview, it seems to be a promotional piece. It happens that the descendants of the historical Cuban leaders are extraordinarily gifted and it is only natural that some domestic and foreign media workers pursue them like paparazzi of the high-and-mighty political show business, of the national fiefdom.

The journalistic piece, consisting of only three questions and genetically long answers, dealt with the most important hobby and recent occupational profile of the first-born: nanotechnology. After he and his father put Cuba, our western hemisphere and the world in danger with the grandiose construction of the Juraguá nuclear plant, whose Soviet technology was outdated and was patented with the Chernobyl disaster, daddy’s boy was named scientific advisor to the Council of State. That whole matter was buried in a convenient oblivion, in the intimidating silence of the threatening upright index finger over the lips of freedom of information.

While for decades Cuban families were denied cement to repair, remodel or enlarge their living quarters, in Jaraguá buildings were constructed that are now vacant, like monuments to the rule of the caudillo, the disaster in decision-making, and the lack of well-developed and agreed-upon projects and planning. No one demanded an accounting for the dictator’s folly, and the ghost town stands there as a tribute to the government’s irresponsibility and indolence.

In Granma’s text, it was stated that the project of building the Cuban Center for Advanced Studies is already under way. The project, according to Castro Díaz-Balart himself, was conceived taking into account the opinions “and recommendations of a group of leaders belonging to the Scientific Area, the University of Havana, and the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment”. Who will direct it? It seems to me that the old childhood “camps” of the heir, with the passage of time and the adulation lavished by the royal sycophants, turned into an insatiable voracity for a “principality” in which he can playact being his own father, until “a physical absence” and the consent of the royal power take him to the position to which perhaps he feels entitled.

In this country, which has been leeched of the resources it had and put into debt to the point of systemic osteoporosis,  they afford themselves the luxury of developing constructive projects for Castro Jr. with a rigor that — according to them — competes with that of any developed country.

The descendants have taken to “establishing a rivalry” — among family, among siblings? — of being at center stage, and they appear in the media, without distinction and for different reasons, always justifiable. Of Fidel’s children, Fidelito is the most notable scientist in Cuba; Alex, the best photographer; and Antonio, the best physician. Of Raúl’s children, Mariela, the best psychologist; Alejandro, the most prominent high officer; and the grandson, the best personal security guard.

And if there is no milk for children over seven years old? For that they blame the United States and its embargo, to continue to free them from blame for their ineptness before their officials and cadres. After all, they don’t have any problems that cannot be solved by being identified by their surname, rank or position, with a telephone call or by showing an ID, which are the permanent credentials allowing them to enjoy incalculable privileges.

No one knows any more if this shamelessness is an ode inviting the masses to greater apathy or if it is a constant call to emigrate. What everyone does intuit is that with that brood of well-off  and — by “their own merits” — well-placed heirs, Cuba’s problems will never be solved.

Translated by: Espirituana

September 26 2012

This entry was posted in Rosa Maria Rodriguez, Translator: Espirituana. Bookmark the permalink.

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