Translation: MSc. Guillermo Rodriguez Cortes
The Heart of a Neighborhood– In my country there is a town, in that town there is a neighborhood, in the neighborhood a house, in the house a person and in the person a heart that beats for many hearts, that watches over, cares for and works, that is one for all and sets the rhythm of the collective heartbeat, which can be felt miles away.
Days, months and years go by, with their load of responsibilities and struggles and there is the heart, beating as the first time, building and summoning, being part and complement, driving the blood through the veins of a country, sharing its dreams and its sadness, living by it and for it until its last beat.
Collective heart, neighborhood soul, beating since September 28, 1960 at the initiative of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro and writing new stories, decorating the future with a patriotic color.
The CDR, Committees for the Defense of the Revolution or neighborhood hearts, the driving force of daily life since the age of 14 and until the last breath of a thousand stories of work and dedication, which on each new anniversary is recharged with renewed energy to exist always as the first time.
It is up to the organization to take the Revolution everywhere, so that no place on our island remains untouched by its light, and in its protective zeal to confront crimes, social indiscipline and illegalities, to claim for the rights of the community’s inhabitants and to carry out activities with social impact such as voluntary blood donations.
Popular revolutionary vigilance continues to be one of the main tasks in this struggle, which has played a fundamental role at different times and today adapts to the needs of each place.
The confrontation of problems related to micro dumps, communal hygiene, mistreatment of social property, public scandals, loud music, obscene words and alcoholism, among others, are impulses for the heart of the people who suffer and fight them, because the common welfare is their raison d’être.
Since the founding of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, there has not been a significant passage in our history without the presence of the people’s feelings, materialized in streets, blocks and neighborhoods.
In my country there is a people, in that people there is a neighborhood, in the neighborhood a house, in the house a person and in the person a heart, which on September 28 will be on its anniversary and as time goes by is renewed and grows, promoting the dreams of a Revolution of heartbeats as the first time, taking care of each one and dreaming for all.
Translation: MSc. Guillermo Rodriguez Cortes
THE HISTORY OF MAN… There are buildings that just by looking at them transport you back in time. Infinite walls, high towers, cathedrals, walls that rock upon rock have the power to silently tell secrets that man has hidden in their cracks. There are others that, from their simplicity, also hide stories of towns, of their people and the roots that tie them to the land where they were born.
That house in the highest part of the hill was simple, it stood out among all the others in the neighborhood not only because of the palm tree that grew in its garden as a «flower», or for its red tiles and blue walls, but because it looked like a mother, already a little old and full of makeup, but a mother anyway; overprotective and vigilant, «ailing» but fighter, with the energy and strength of the Cuban women.
There were times when only a small family lived in it. It multiplied and plagued its corridors with noises and footsteps; at other times it was a place for arguments, meetings, classes, going from being a conventional home to become the «refuge» of the people.
THE HISTORY OF MAN…
It all began with hurricane winds, intense rain and the black clouds that announced the end of an era. In that community, the strongest house was the one with red tiles and blue walls, which is why everyone ended up crammed up into the living room, the bedrooms and even the kitchen. Three days of stories and lots of coffee by candlelight passed, and then it was time to start from scratch.
While some rebuilt their lives and the streets slowly returned to normal, the children at dawn would line up around the palm tree, sing the notes of the National Anthem and then settle down on any surface under the roof to take classes. In the afternoons, it was the turn of the grocer, who with his elbows on his improvised counter would dispense «our daily bread» at the doorway.
Little by little the life of the whole community began to revolve around the blue house with red tiles, and although the ravages of the hurricane were passing, the garden with its characteristic «palm-flower» continued to be the favorite place for neighborhood gatherings, meetings, the organization of parties or cleaning.
That is the story told by its walls, which also saw when one night the people paid homage to those who lived on that roof, giving them a prize from the neighborhood, a replica of the same house that on so many occasions sheltered them from the rain.
Then it became a custom, one that like the crowing of the roosters spread loudly throughout the island, making that blue house with red tiles a symbol of all the good and autochthonous that Cuban citizenship holds, originating the «Premio del Barrio» (Neighborhood Award).
Decades after that night, Cuba continues to collect memories, and numerous families have obtained the «Premio del Barrio», which also extended to schools, cultural, public health and communication institutions, as well as other work groups and individuals.