His name is Israel Monzón Falcón. But in Nueva Paz, Mayabeque, everyone knows him as “Macho”. He does not walk with half measures, that’s where the nickname comes from. It belongs to those who believe in the pledged word as a sacred duty and to those who hate grandiloquence.
Israel or (to be consistent with neopacinos) “Macho” Monzón, It was one of the men who represented the people andn the elections of that October of 1976, when the first term of the Municipal Assembly was constituted. Since then, and for the next 40 years, he would be a district delegate in his municipality.
It should never have gone to the second round in electoral periods and in 13 terms he was elected with more than 90% of the vote Why? Because he calls things by their name and sees problems, not as “situations to be analyzed”, but as challenges to which solutions can be found.
“The delegate represents and defends the interests of his constituents. That was always my goal, ”he tells me after greeting me, while he advances with the walker towards a chair on his terrace.
For this reason, most of the residents used to attend their accountability assemblies. What a popular debate that was, where people expressed their concerns, knowing that the delegate was sensitive to each approach and assumed it as his own!
“I always had to give an effective response. Sometimes the problem was not resolved all at once, but she was talking to the officials in charge of solving each issue and was in constant communication with the voters. He informed them step by step how his approach was progressing and they felt cared for. This is very important“, He says.
Monzón understands that the work he carried out until five years ago is essential, not only for voters, but also for the proper functioning of society. “The delegate, as an intermediary between the population and the institutions, also facilitates the work of managers. He shows them the problems that they do not see from the bureau of their offices ”.
He tells it from the experience of having been, for 18 years, director of the Municipal Commerce Company, work that alternated with the functions of delegate, keeping the limits very clear. “Every time I took an approach to an official, I specified that I was a director, but that I was going to see him as a delegate of my constituents, not as a delegate of the directors,” he recalls, while showing me some of the recognitions obtained in his four decades of mandate.
The most important award, the affection of the people who elected him during that time, he earned it when he helped build the house of “the lot” in his own block, when he managed to get the house of the Chao, from the other neighborhood, repaired. , or when he managed the granting of state premises as housing in usufruct to various residents.
He remembers well the moment when the inefficiencies led him to point out his own sister in a meeting “because, if what one does is respected, one must criticize what was done badly, regardless of affinities” or the accountability meetings with the core of the constituency Party. “Those old men helped improve my management in a way you can’t imagine, because they were dealing with everyday problems on the street: queues, transportation, public lighting… and they always suggested proactive ideas to improve the performance of each sector”, comment.
The conversation is interrupted by Ramón, a neighbor from the other block who came to tell him about his recent adventures with the interprovincial bus. Because, although he no longer serves as a delegate, the neopacinos continue to see in “Macho” a cordial and purposeful recipient, at 73 years of age.
“He who wants can” is his maxim, although recognizes that times have changed and there are several challenges that the elected delegates will face in the upcoming votes.
In the same way, he considers that there are issues that can be resolved without great resources or so much bureaucracy. “I’m talking about painting a winery, for example, even if it’s with lime; I mean that, if there is no ambulance at the polyclinic, a car with enough fuel is available to transport the sick to the hospital; I’m talking about opening a guarapera; to rescue the culture of detail ”, he explains.
Where did “Macho” Monzón get all those ideas from? Of his eagerness to ask the officials of each sector what to do in the face of the most complex current phenomena. From their ability to define the most accurate answers.
While I finish photographing the diplomas that he had shown me a while before, he moves towards his car, which contains several bags of rubble. He plans to fill in some nearby potholes with them. “The situation is difficult, journalist, but the problems are ending if we take a little piece of them every day.” That constant and little by little, like water on rock, has guided his contribution to society from the everyday and essential of the neighborhood, to which he has dedicated, more than 40 years, his entire life.