The festivities of September 28 are almost here, the fiesta for the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. The carnival begins.

My block, the only one who cleans is Joseito, an employee of Aurora (the State agency for street cleaning), and some other neighbors clean their gardens and in front of their houses from time to time. But today, on the eve of long-awaited party, the most militant go out to clean up what any other week, with no shame, their children and grandchildren and even they themselves make dirty.

There are those, I know them, who do not clean even the cobwebs in their entryways, nor the piece of stairway that leads to their door. But today they’re out broom in hand to sweep the street. They trim the wild bushes that grow freely during the year, and whitewash the curbs. Always the same faces, some already very faded by age and frustrations.

Always having to fake things also leave traces in the face. Anyway, there are those who, in confidence, always on the sly, timidly complain how bad the situation is and how expensive everything is.

In their houses some have hung CDR flags and the much abused national flag. A neighbor, the teacher, as we affectionately call him, uses this day to do his wash and hang, from the balcony of his house, his beach towel which has the design of an American flag on it; no one says anything because they think he’s crazy. When I observe all that is happening in my neighborhood and in all other neighborhoods, I realize why this regime has lasted over half a century. Then I feel sorry for my country and embarrassed by my countrymen.

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