Reports from Cuba: The referendum hangover

Marcelo Hernandez writes in 14yMedio from Havana via Translating Cuba:

The Referendum Hangover

Signs and posters are thrown into the trash and everyday life returns to the streets.

After Sunday, February 24 and after finishing the constitutional referendum, everyday life seems to have entered a kind of impasse. On the walls, public stores, and billboards of the city, you can still see the signs asking you to vote Yes with which the government filled every corner, but the slogans are also beginning to fade, some posters are being thrown away, and the page turned on a tension that lasted months.

The lines in front of consulates to obtain a visa continue, on the streets the lack of cooking oil and the poor connectivity of 3G service for cellphones dominates conversations, while the vote for the Constitution sounds like a distant and past matter. With the electoral propaganda finished in national media, the news tries to fill the holes of the calls to mobilization and completes them with headlines on the production of supposed articles that nobody finds in stores and with news about “the Bolivarian brother people of Venezuela.”

Now, also returning with force to conversations are the comments that were suspended by the barrage of slogans about the ballot boxes, the “vote for the homeland,” and the ratification of the Constitution. Returning are the stories of people who are still sleeping in the home of a relative or friend because the January tornado took their own house; the testimony of the Cuban who, from the Panamanian jungle, tells his family on the Island how compatriots are joining that caravan of hundreds of migrants on its way to the United States, and, also, the traditional criticisms of the bad transportation situation.

With the constitutional drunkenness past, we have returned to our normal state: the hangover of everyday life.

Translated by: Sheilagh Carey