For fifty years the media has been telling us that we were illiterates, vagrants, thieves, political adventurers, rude, in short, a disgrace, clearly the product of the bad leaders we had in the past. But, with the appearance of the New Man, everything was going to change and we would then be able to reconstruct a country where we would all be literate, taught, responsible, educated and patriotic.

It only takes a turn around any neighborhood, lining up in a queue, or getting on any bus, to come to face with the New Man. That boy who was born and educated with the Revolution, the one who was a pioneer, a youth militant and, of course, when a grew up, a party militant. The bad guys, they left in the different migratory waves because whoever doesn’t like it: love it or leave it.

This New Man who express himself in a gross manner, who vociferates, who shoves older people so he can get on the bus first, this new specimen forged in the new ideology where everything belong to everyone, who does not hesitate to pick a flower from your garden, or enter the door of your house and take anything that is at hand. He is the same one who has made us live behind bars and transform our balconies into cages, to cover with improvised mesh our gas tanks as well as the lights in corridors and stairs to protect ourselves with chastity belts and lock up the few public sanitary services available so that it won’t be possible for anyone to lift up the tank’s lid and steal what’s inside. The list would be too long and shameful to continue.

As I go around my neighborhood with my camera at hand, I ask myself what has happened with this Man who replaced the one we used to know, the one with virtues and defects, but who dreamed about a better country, the one who respected what was not his, the one who when on a bus, offered his seat to women and older people, the one who used to say good morning or good afternoon, the one who asked permission to enter our homes and respected the bottle of milk that the milkman used to leave at the door, where is he?

Translated by David Fernandez

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