Deisy Francis Mexidor
Some canapés over here, more over there. U.S. flags. Colored sashes. Dilettante verbosity. Plastic smiles. Everything is ready. At 7pm this November 4, the residence of the head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana was the setting to witness the U.S. elections live by satellite.
It was the same as ever: nothing less than members of internal counterrevolutionary groups summoned by the call of their masters to go and “vote” for a president that they have adopted as their own and a government that provides them with a significant amount of money to carry out subversive acts.
Also attending were certain members of the foreign press accredited here in the Cuban capital and several members of the diplomatic corps. But all this, in journalistic terms, had a very low profile given that, as one colleague told me, “this show between the counterrevolutionary factions and USIS officials has had its day.”
What is certain is that while the election was taking place, in which a significant part of the U.S. population – particularly new voters, young people, minorities, members of the middle and working classes – tipped the scales in favor of Illinois Senator Barack Obama, the majority of the mercenaries who turned up at the USIS party were there just for the food and the beer.
And on exercising their symbolic vote – as was expected – some 64% of the voters who had gathered there, according to a report by a correspondent, chose to elect Republican John McCain who follows the policies of George W. Bush and whose first promise to Miami – if he had won – was to come and hoist the “flag of freedom” in Cuba. The mercenaries have always been consistent with the money that they receive.
However, things started changing for the worse and finished as a “big disappointment” party. As the hours passed and it became clear who would be the new White House tenant, spirits fell and so did the “provisions”.
So much so that those present at the USIS head’s residence – transformed on this occasion into a “convention center”, were able to watch McCain’s speech but not Obama’s. Minutes before it was due to start, they turned off the transmission. What a great example of democracy! Our sources even said that, when Obama’s victory was announced, some people were so disheartened that they stopped serving beer and one of those present announced: “Let’s go gentlemen, it’s all over now!”