Partial Solutions / Fernando Damaso
Posted on October 19, 2013
With regards to the adoption of the Mariel Special Development Zone
Decree Law, it comes to mind that this idea of trying to solve the
problems of the country not in a global way, but by creating regions and
special plans, has been a tendency of the authorities since their
earliest days in power.
We remember the declaration of the town of El Cano, as the first
socialist town of Cuba and, later, that of another unimportant one as
being the first town where money would not be needed. These constituted,
at the time, childish utopias within the large adult utopia that has
been the so-called Socialist Revolution, which has had very little of
socialism and a great deal of voluntarism.
To these initial blunders, we have to add the failed Havana Cordon, the
Ten Million Ton Harvest, the micro-jet bananas, the failed livestock
cross-breeding plans, the Pharaonic harvests of pangola grass and pigeon
peas, the windbreaks, the embankments on any nearby key, the Turquino
Plan*, the Escambray Plan, and a great deal more economic and ecological
Now, copying the Chinese brothers in turn (we lack originality), and
after greatly criticizing them, the so-called Special Development Zones
started to appear which, though they strengthen the creation of
accelerated wealth in the chosen and controlled regions, they deform the
economic map of the country, generating reas of extreme poverty, where
people have no other option for survival than to emigrate to these new
El Dorados, where all this rootlessness and loss of identity leads,
affecting the social fabric, making even more virulent the economic and
social differences between regions, creating a country alienated by its
different living conditions, very distant from “with all and for the
good of all” advocated by José Martí.
For those of us who dream of a single prosperous Cuba, where citizens do
not have to emigrate from the places of birth to develop their life
projects, time and the tenacity of Cubans are working in our favor.
*Translator’s note: The Turquino Plan was a 1980s effort to develop
forestry and site appropriate agriculture to stabilize mountain
populations and make mountain areas independent of cities.
18 October 2013
Source: “Partial Solutions / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba” –