A television personality has lent his name to an amusing adornment in the shape of a dog that is placed inside cars. Always agreeing has caused this host to be compared to the bobble-head animals who nod with every rattle of the car, as if to say “yes”. Said gentleman always approves what his bosses say, so much so that his neck turns into a spring when he presents one of the programs with the fewest viewers on Cuban television.
A Mexican friend gave me this turtle who says “no”, which reminds me of the negatives that citizens have never been able to express in public. To the rhythm of this nice chelonian, I would like to emphasize everything that I disapprove of but that I’m not permitted to decide through the ballot box. Moving your head from side to side when you don’t agree implies a greater share of value than agreeing or consenting all the time. The sport of saying “yes” has cost my generation, which suffers the consequences of agreements and commitments made by our parents, to lose too much.
We could start by saying no to centralization, bureaucracy, the cult of personality and the absurd prohibitions of the gerontocracy. As a fan that turns from right to left, so would I move if someone consulted me on the management of the current government. “No” is the first word that springs to mind when people ask me if the Cuba of today resembles that which I was promised as a girl. They will not broadcast my disapproval on TV, nor will it earn me obliging pats on the head from some boss, but at least it’s not automatic like the “yes” of the little plastic dog who looks out through the windshield.