Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

December 31, 1998, Cuba Free Press.


HAVANA - The Cuban Revolution has been controversial since its very beginning. With thousands of followers and as many detractors, it became a fertile ground for hatreds, disputes, loves, ingenuity and debates. After each challenge there rose two or three ameliorating issues in its favor.

But the opposite also happened: Many arguments would challenge anyone who would attempt to expose its virtues.

I'm part of a generation that emerged since 1959. I'm one of many between 25 and 35 years of age. In other words, I can't even speak for those who experienced the changes or the challenges to the customs and the ways of life. For the many citizens who grew up without knowing religion or have a lofty concept of what a family means, the revolution, which was already well established by the time we were born, is like an order of life, a law, or its own country.

Cuba has not known any other government or political system since the 1960's. The mores and language have been almost the same since then. Laws and institutions have, practically, not evolved, and the leaders are still well entrenched, only looking older than the first time we saw them on television.

It's only natural that we have no point of reference from which to make comparisons. It's a fact: This is our country and that's enough. How can we say whether it used to be better or worse than that which we barely knew? Only through the history books, altered by the official historians, can we have some kind of idea of how it used to be, but that would be rather unconvincing.

The stories and anecdotes of our parents and grandparents seem terribly subjective, yet they give us a clue. But that's all. We're like John Smith, the main character in George Orwell's novel "1984", who took the great risk of going to a popular bar (he was part of the Party) to ask someone whether he remembered how "things used to be." Smith needed to know, but the person he asked couldn't tell him because he had no memory of the period before that in which he had been living.

But what's really happening is that we've become tired. And we are getting hopelessly bored with what we see every day, of the things that we live through, of the future that awaits us. We are sick and tired of slogans and of rallies to support something in which we no longer believe. The only thing that we know, the Revolution, means very little to the Cuban youth.

The indisputable proof of this loss of enthusiasm is our boredom. Even though smiles and shouts on the streets are frequent in Cuba, and even though the country seems to burst with music and alcoholic beverages, a growing percentage of the population is bored to distraction. When the party is over there's nothing but boredom. A boredom which consumes you when there are no more dreams, when options are lacking and when hope is dormant.

Aside from the criteria of whether the Revolution has been good or evil for Cuban society, today, 40 years later, it has become quite boring. And the people wish to leave the boredom and escape to something new. Young Cubans barely talk about politics. There's only one thing on their mind: To leave the country.

Four decades is far too long to continue with the same plans that sustained the revolutionary goals in its early beginnings. It's unbearable to read newspapers in which the headlines remain immune to the passage of time. You must look at its date to realize that it's a current issue.

The verdict on this was officially given by Cuba's National Assembly, meeting in the last days of 1998. The year 1999 will be called "The 40 Anniversary Year of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution." Nothing else will change.

By Ariel Tapia, Cuba Free Press.

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