THE BLOG

Another School Year Starts, But There Is No New Beginning for Cuba

August left us exhausted, after a very wet June and a blisteringly hot July. The power consumption rises and in order to sleep we lie in front of the fan that lulls us, throughout the night, with its hum. The heat brings on intolerance and critics arise on every corner. Those "from up there" know this well and they also fear the eighth month of the year. Because of this they open kiosks with cheap rum in the most populated neighborhoods and avoid cutting off the electricity in the troubled areas of the city. In any event, the tension is palpable in the air, not only because of the temperature but because of the crisis that aggravated the fears and hardships. I have been counting the days until the end of August, hoping that with its end we will also find some relief.

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With this feeling of fullness September started with its routines. My son left early for school and mid-morning I asked myself the same question as last year, how to find something to take him for lunch. The teacher announced that those mobilized at the schools in the countryside will return. I assume this is happening because the countryside boarding schools are gradually disappearing, and now the classrooms will have forty students because there are not enough teachers. Public transport is also more complicated for a couple of days while all the students and workers return from their vacations. Fortunately, no hurricane has hit at the beginning of the month, as Ike and Gustav did a year ago.

All the postponed projects should be launched this September, including those new measures announced, but not accomplished, during the last session of the National Assembly. Our politicians should apply themselves like our students, sharpening the points of their pencils, drawing lines in their notebooks, and setting to work to find solutions to the mountain of problems surrounding us. It's too bad they know ahead of time that they won't have to sit for tests, that they won't be graded as poor, average or good, with a vote left in the ballot box. What a pity that we can't take the red pencil of disapproval and make a huge X on their term paper about their administrative management. So, they have promoted themselves year after year, starting each September in a class from which no one has the right to suspend them.

September has also brought me some surprises. Since last Friday it is impossible to connect to Voces Cubanas from the Island. They have applied to it the same slow filter they use to block the connection to desdecuba.com for users in Cuba with very slow speed Internet connections.

Yoani's blog, Generation Y, can be read here in English translation.