“The Politician Of The Week,” A Citizens’ Initiative
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 10 April 2017 — Facing the times
that we live in can be an unpleasant task. And doing it without
discrimination based on ideological viewpoints and with immediacy, takes
visions of daring. This is the challenge that the Center for the
Application of Political Marketing and Political assumes with the
election of the “politician of the week,” an initiative that approaches
the Cuban reality from its protagonists.
The profiles developed by the independent entity are made in
collaboration with the site Primavera digital (Digital Spring), the
historian Dimas Castellanos and the journalist José Antonio Fornaris,
among others. They are distributed through e-mail and several web
pages. Their intention is to summarize, with the fewest adjectives, the
biography and significant details of those who mark the events of the
Island. Those faces that embody the moments most sublime and most
ridiculous of the day-to-day.
The “politician of the week” does not evaluate the person, but rather
the events in which he or she has taken part and the decisions for which
they are responsible. The brief sheet that accompanies their name
doesn’t judge, but it does describe. In a country where most of the time
the public debate centers on “killing the messenger” instead of
understanding the message, this moderate exercise carried out by the
Center takes on hints of the historic.
So far this year, the names included in the classification have ranged
from officials in the highest ranks of power to opponents condemned for
their activism. This wide range of points of view can only be recognized
from an independent perspective, given that the official media only
gives space to names linked to the government.
Thus, this civic initiative has described both Jennifer Bello Martínez,
president of the Federation of University Students, and Dr. Eduardo
Cardet Concepción, a person Amnesty International has declared a
political prisoner of conscience. In its entries it has shed light on
the life of the new interior minister, Rear Admiral Julio Cesar
Gandarilla Bermejo, as well as Carlos Lechuga, director of the censored
film Santa and Andrés.
Nor have they missed, in their accounts, figures such as Vice President
Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, a hard-liner known for his partisan
orthodoxy, or Havana’s private taxi drivers who demonstrated their
dissatisfaction after the imposition of price caps on their service.
The Center, led by the analyst Julio Aleaga, has given space to Tyrians
and Trojans. Its catalog of personalities is the closest thing to a
democratic exercise in which there is no discrimination or stigmatizing
positions, a posture that in today’s times of polarization, does not
stop giving some people hives or provoking indignation.
There are those who are upset to not have been included yet, while
others cry out to have their names erased from the list. To the extent
that it is list of the protagonists of a reality, the “politician of the
week” approaches those who are part of events, but the evaluation of
their performance will depend on the opinions of each individual reader.
Source: “The Politician Of The Week,” A Citizens’ Initiative –
Translating Cuba –