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I already know that eternity has no end, or a beginning, but let’s be dialectic and apply the theory of relativity to the concept. If, from the time you begin to develop a notion that the country where you were born has a leader who remains in power until he retires and all our projects finish, then that, in terms of the finite of human life, counts as an eternity.

That’s why I felt a passing crisis of optimism when I heard Raul Castro announce that from now on, the government and party positions could only last for a maximum of ten years, which is the same as two periods of 5 years with only one reelection allowed.

All those I tried to fill with my enthusiasm stared at me with either pity or indignation. I even was upset with myself when I remembered that assembly which took place before the 4th Communist Party Congress in 1991 when they gave us permission to give our opinions on whatever we wanted, and I came up with the idea of proposing the same idea which has now been approved.  Is it possible that I was ahead of my time, as befits a great visionary?  Or perhaps it has to do with a measure which has been passed too late, for it should have done 20 years ago.

Had it happened that way, the then First Secretary would have had to start counting his term from that very moment, and in 2001 the second would have passed on to be the first, and, interestingly enough, in that same year Raul Castro would have finished his second mandate, supposing that he’d be undoubtedly been reelected in 2006.

Will we have to wait until 2021 to know the name which will be chanted and acclaimed by the delegates of the 8th Communist Party Congress, or will a hole open up in time and we will jump ahead, without any previous warnings, into another dimension?

Translated by Raul G.

20 April 2011


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Reinaldo Escobar (1947), an independent journalist since 1989, writes from Cuba where he was born and continues to live. He received his degree in Journalism from the University of Havana in 1971 and subsequently worked for different Cuban publications. His articles can be found in various European publications, and in the digital magazines "Cuba Encuentro" and "Contodos."

Desde Aquí/From Here is a personal undertaking born from the need to write about those topics that fill my head every day but that cannot find a space in the official Cuban media.

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