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By Sironay Gonzalez Rodriquez

The meeting starts in total silence, no one says a word. The zone boss of the party, the President of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, and the functionary delegate start their proposals.  Their proposals are direct, concrete, well-analyzed so that the changing of the guard can take place.  The rest of the neighborhood, some tired from the day’s work, others sleepy and crazy to see a soap opera raise their hands for anyone.  Whoever is elected will be the same as the others and won’t solve any problems.

That is how the candidate nomination assemblies have started for the delegates to the Popular Power Party; between deceptions from previous mandates and little hope in the new nominees.  The people know that the solutions to their problems do not rest with a neighbor who represents them, it is higher up than that, but one has to propose, choose and vote so we don’t break what exists now; what is required is more than just an exercise in democracy but we must reach back into our traditions, like community parties or carnival.

When everyone’s opinion finally matters; when the concerns of Cubans influence the decisions made by the state; when the delegates represent the people instead of the government and they do not justify the poor work of the government before the people; when the people who govern us work to sustain us, and not the reverse — then true power will be in the hands of the people.

Sironay González Rodríguez

San Cristóbal, Pinar del Rio, 1976

Translated by: Hank

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