Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

May 3, 1999.


HAVANA - Following is the Cuba Free Press question and the answers in a mini-survey: (Question) Did you read what came out in the newspaper "Granma" on April 23 about the fact that there are still few young people, blacks or women who occupy leadership positions in Cuba? (Answers) "Yes, of course I did. It was printed on the last page and the harshest criticism was made by Raśl Castro who presided over the meeting in which the Central Commission on Leadership (or "Leader Formation") did a self assessment of its performance." Chief baker, age 52.

"I do not read Granma but my brother-in-law who does manage to get hold of it every day made the comment to me that what they published was presented to the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba back in 1975. Almost 25 years later women, blacks and the young still are not promoted to leadership positions." Housewife, 48.

"I swear I know nothing about it. And besides I don't care. What I want is to see how I get hooked with someone so I can leave the country legally." Student, 16.

"If you did not say my name I would say what I think. The problem is that it seems that the Cuban leaders have realized that they have aged holding power and that is terrible." Construction worker, 31.

"I am a racist and a 'machista'(=male chauvinist). Therefore I think it is good that blacks do not lead and neither do women. Yes, I would agree with young people getting in command and the oldtimers going into retirement." Unemployed young white man.

"I don't understand the government's concern but if somebody endures backwardness it is the black citizen. And about women, don't even mention it. We have been enslaved by childrearing, domestic chores and the shortages in the 'special period' (of austerity). How do you think that people able to lead are going to be found under these circumstances?" Mixed-race female store clerk, 28.

"Don't the 'pinchos' (literally 'prick, prickle,' contemporary Cuban slang for 'higher-ups' or 'leaders') know that most blacks are prison meat and that the best among them have been picked to be cops? Young people are in the 'invento' (literally "invention," contemporary Cuban slang term meaning "creative ways of finding resources, not necessarily legal") and do not want to know of responsibilities within the government. About women? The decent ones stay home, cooking and cleaning. The others making dollars with their bodies." Peanut seller, 71.

Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.

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