While watching some videos on Youtube, I came across an emotional interpretation of the Bolivian poem “I Ask for the Word” by Eliodoro Aillon Teran, which was presented before the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic, by Laila Mariel Taveras — a student performing in front of the leading powers of the world. This student must have been around 8 years of age, but the message she conveyed in the poem was touching. Before saying anything, she asked the citizens of the world that she be allowed to speak in the name of her country; in the name of her people she asked to speak.
She spoke of a place where everyone screamed at night when an alcohol-propelled fist fell on her mother’s face, where she remembered the blood, and the tears and fear of the little ones, innocent yet scarred for life. She spoke of the most painful corner where her homeland began. Many shed tears while she described the extreme poverty in which the people in her country live, while others portray the country as paradise. She said that in school she is taught of a land with heroes, hills filled with silver and pastures covered with fruit trees, but never were they shown or taught about the land where people die of hunger, where two pieces of bread do not satisfy the hunger of four. She went on to say that her land is never in the speeches of presidents nor in the color of the flag. Her land is just left there, thrown aside without care, but she wears her homeland like a tunic; she embraces the pain and hunger of her people. It weighs upon her like the weight of God on sin, but she never stopped dreaming of a better day.
On that day, she represented the workers and their stained overalls. She went in the name of her father and his vice, which resulted in the nakedness of his children, in the name of her mother and her silent voice, on behalf of the children, in the name of her people, without salary, begging for piece of her homeland. She told the world that her people want their peace; they want to collect from distant beaches a song of new seagulls. They want to sow their wheat and build their factories; they want their children to laugh, play and sprinkle the fields like dewdrops at dawn. They want everyone to grow along the rivers like wheat, and may all swell with sun and rain like grapes, in the dilated basin of the valleys. She begs in the name of her people, humble as the grass, simple as the water of the ditch. She begged permission for a voice so her people can be recognized, so her people can prosper and have better lives.
May 2, 2021