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    Elections…for What?

    Elections…for What?* / Rebeca Monzo
    Posted on April 22, 2015

    Rebeca Monzo, 22 April 2015 — I have a friend from the old days who has
    a big heart, but a mouth even bigger than that vital organ. We meet a
    bunch of years ago when I moved to this neighborhood, and we bonded over
    our noble sentiments towards our fellow humans, animals and nature —
    despite our great differences insofar as ideas about homeland and liberty.

    A few days ago she sent me, via a mutual neighborhood acquaintance, an
    unexpected message: “Tell Rebeca that if this time she will not vote, I
    myself will go get her and drag her by the hair, kicking her in the….”

    Gross error, I told the messenger. Above all, I do not accept, under any
    circumstances, threats from anyone — but even worse, that type of
    message is one that only she can give to me directly, if she respects
    herself — and even less do I accept vulgarities. Taking advantage of the
    fact that the intermediary is a member of my block’s Committee for the
    Defense of the Revolution, I made the following remarks to her:

    “I went to the polls for the last time 30 years ago now. At that time, I
    would take the precaution of carrying a ballpoint pen hidden in my
    bodice to substitute the famous pencil, and that way be sure of being
    able to annul the ballot. Then one day I realized that to vote was a
    right and not a duty. From that point on, I exercised the right to not
    take part in these strange suffrages.

    “Besides,” I continued, “on the day that one of those unknown candidates
    with a resume boasting harvests and internationalist missions, presents
    a credible plan against animal abuse, indiscriminate cutting down of
    trees, raising of wages, repair of streets and sidewalks, hygienic
    improvements to the city, daily garbage collection, cleanliness in
    hospitals and clinics, improvements to supplies and transportation,
    etc., then neither she nor anyone else will need to send me little
    messages to encourage me to visit the polls! I myself will go on my own
    two feet, transported by conviction and hope. Until this happens, my
    message to you, to her, and to the rest of society is and will be,
    ’Elections, for what?’”

    *Translator’s Note: Likely a reference to Fidel’s “Armas para que?”
    (“Weapons…for What?“) speech, made shortly after the “Triumph of the
    Revolution” in January, 1959.

    Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

    Source: Elections…for What?* / Rebeca Monzo | Translating Cuba –