Sunday, July 5, 2009

Three phone lines in Aldecoa


Back in Ciro’s neighborhood they are putting in some phones; there are 20 people on the list without phones but only three lines available. I find out, with growing sadness, all about the process from one of the concerned parties. ETECSA doesn’t decide who is going to get a telephone, rather it’s a commission appointed by the CDR that does a “study of the terrain” and names the chosen.

The initial three-person commission first named the president of the CDR, and second the delegate from the district, and in third place it was split between two neighbors close to the committee. The dispute continued until it became a scandal at ETECSA, who sent them home to come to agreement.

Other neighbors, seeing the problem, joined the dissent. The woman who told me the story, for example, explained that she was waiting to make her claim because she thought she had more merit in the CDR than those in the dispute. The matter was so raw that the commission was dismantled and a new one put in its place.

The new commission, together with the neighbors, have called an extraordinary meeting for a new selection, which still hasn’t taken place but it will take place without the presence of those involved in the problem. In any case, always when they selection is made and they make a decision, one can then make a claim for a new review of the whole process: a person argues why they don’t agree and lists the merits of the one whom they want to benefit beyond which they have benefited.

I remember when televisions were distributed people in Havana were shocked by the quarrels between neighbors; I know of friends who didn’t have a television and preferred not to get into it with their neighbors: dirty laundry, old stories, families in the United States, comments against the government, numbers of guard duty served, voluntary work, ideological quality of relatives… in the end, any argument is valid when it’s time to explain to the CDR that the television or telephone is deserved by you and not by the guy next door.

But worst of all is that there are people, like the woman I spoke of, to whom the process seems just. People who don’t see the sad and painful result of a system that makes it citizens behave like dogs getting a bone out of the trash, who sadistically wash their hands and indolently register with pride the responsibility of having converted envy and snitching into new values of the socialist revolution.

2 comments:

ununseptium said...

Wow, you have to be picked to be allowed to own a television in Cuba????


:-O

Laraine said...

Feliz cumpleanos. Tan joven pero tan sabia. Busco tu blog cada dia. Me encantan tus escrituras.