Miércoles, 20 de Marzo de 2019
Última actualización: 13:47 CET

'I'm not going to cover up the ill done to anyone, that's the main difference'

Confesor Verdecia Ellcok, 'Proco.' (O. RAMÍREZ ÁLVAREZ)

Confesor Verdecia Ellcok, or "Proco," as he has been known since childhood, is a charismatic man, constantly surrounded by and talking to young people and teenagers

Even though he is 41, he attracts them like a magnet. He talks to them about the change that Cuba needs, of democracy and his work, through which he has denounced the poor work done by the opposition's information channels. He is a natural leader.

He has now decided to run as a candidate representing his district. He is a resident of the Cocal district, in the “Popular Council” of January 1st,in Mayarí, and many already support him.

"When I learned that many dissidents had decided to take part in the elections, instead of sitting them out, as usual, I didn't understand it. I thought it was crazy. Then I saw that it made sense and I dove into it, even more when I told some neighbors about it, and they encouraged me. I always stand in solidarity with them and, as a dissident, when there is a problem, I am there, and I condemn it. As a representative, I could do much more than criticize. I could help solve them," he said.

Proco is a very upbeat mulatto, which must be a virtue related to his profession, about which he is passionate.

"I am a comedian and theater actor, my vocation since childhood. I started as an amateur, then I was a culture instructor, and for a year I served as director of the Hermanos Saiz Association, in Mayarí. In 2011, the "House of the Young Creator" was closed and I protested. I was left out of work as a result. I also had ties back then to the opposition groups represented in the territory."

Since that time Proco has been self-employed. He collects raw materials with his cart. His art is still his dream, but he only practices it from time to time, if there is an invitation to birthdays or similar events.

His neighbors support his candidacy, although they feel the same fear that haunts Cubans.

"They’re happy, but worried. There is a lot of fear, and people are scared to vote for me. In order to choose me, candidates have to raise their hands, and I know that more than a few of those who support me will feel intimidated, hesitant to do so in front of the Party, who will be there [in the "Nomination Assembly"] now more than ever, just to coerce them. But we have to try, and we'll see what happens next," he explained.

If he becomes a delegate, he plans to be different from the traditional ones.

"The delegate is normally a figurehead, because he does not handle any resources. Nor does he earn a salary for his functions, and has to set an ‘example’ in this corrupt country, where if you don't 'fight,' you don't survive. And fighting is almost always a crime. Apart from that, in your free time, instead of inventing something to live, you have to dedicate it to the problems of others. It is very self-sacrificing, and you can almost never offer a solution. That's why I thought about it, long and hard."

"But I make a living by collecting raw materials and, unlike the delegates committed to the Government, because they are State workers or members of the CCP, I don't intend to cover up the ill done to anyone. That is the main difference: I am not compromised. They don´t have me by the nose, as they say. And my 'fight' is legal, because I'm self-employed."

He knows that his plans to run may get him into trouble with the Government, but he doesn't lose any sleep over it.

"I'm used to having problems with State Security, that would be nothing new to me. They must already know about it. I always assume that they know everything, so I don't worry about this or that bit of information. A person recently offered me a strange deal, in which he seemed to not really need me, but insisted that it would be easy money. I turned him down, and I strongly suspected that it was a trap, to get me entangled in a common crime. But maybe it wasn't. I'm just wary. I know they are constantly watching me, and I've learned to live with it."

Confesor Verdecia Ellcok seems very excited. He says that he feels active again, and in something different, with his own people. He has been and continues to be politically active with the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU), and with an independent nickel union, and acknowledges that he is finding this idea of ​aiming to be a representative more and more appealing.

Hopefully he can really count on the support his neighbors have offered him.