• Parliamentary Karaoke

    From Cubaverdad@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jul 15 16:06:04 2017
    Parliamentary Karaoke

    14ymedio, Generation y, Yoani Sanchez, 14 July 2017 — Wednesday
    night. The neighborhood of Nuevo Vedado is sliding into the
    darkness. Catchy music resonates in the Hotel Tulipán where
    parliamentarians are staying during the current regular session. They
    dance, drink under the sparkling lights of the disco ball and sing
    karaoke. They add their voices to a programmed score, the exercise they
    know how to do best.

    With only two sessions a year, the Cuban legislative body gathers to
    stuff the population full of dates, figures, promises to keep, and
    critiques of the mismanagement of bureaucrats and administrators. A
    monotonous clamor, where every speaker tries to show themselves more “revolutionary” than the last, launching proposals with an exhausting generality or a frightening lack of vision.

    Those assembled for this eighth legislature, like their colleagues
    before them, have as little ability to make decisions as does any
    ordinary Cuban waiting at the bus stop. They can raise their voice and
    “talk until they’re blue in the face,” and enumerate the inefficiencies that limit development in their respective districts, but from there to concrete solutions is a long stretch.

    On this occasion, the National Assembly has turned its back on pressures
    that, from different sectors, demand new legislation regarding the
    electoral system, audiovisual productions, management of the press, same
    sex marriage and religious freedoms, among others. With so many urgent
    issues, the deputies have only managed to draft the “Terrestrial Waters Bill.”

    Does this mean that they need to meet more often to fix the country’s enormous problems? The question is not only one of the frequency or
    intensity in the exercise of their functions, but also one of freedom
    and power. A parliament is not a park bench where you go to find
    catharsis, nor a showcase to demonstrate ideological fidelity. It should represent the diversity of a society, propose solutions and turn them
    into laws. Without this, it is just a boring social chinwag.

    The parliamentarians will arrive on Friday, the final day of their
    regular session, in front of the microphones in the Palace of
    Conventions with the same meekness that they approached the karaoke
    party to repeat previously scripted choruses. They are going to sing to
    music chosen by others, move their lips to that voice of real power that emerges from their throats.

    Source: Parliamentary Karaoke – Translating Cuba - http://translatingcuba.com/parliamentary-karaoke/

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