What lies ahead?
HILDEBRANDO CHAVIANO MONTES | La Habana | 21 de Octubre de 2016 – 06:50
At the start of the “Anti-imperialist Patriotic Duty Day,” celebrated in
the district of Belén, in the Havana municipality of Marianao, Cuba’s
hero/spy René González stressed the importance of an awareness of Cuban
history, in particular the dispute between the island and the US, dating
back to the 19th century.” According to the newspaper Granma, González
stated: “That is the man challenge facing the restoration of diplomatic
relations between the two countries. If we do not forget the past, we
will be able to successfully overcome what lies ahead.”
To what worrisome future events did he refer when he warned about “what
lies ahead”? It is quite possible he was alluding to an exchange of
between Cuba and the US, through which the latter would benefit from
investments in industry, agriculture, tourism, construction and
communications on the Island, while Cuba would receive a percentage of
profits and acquire advanced technology, more and better jobs, increased
productivity and real GDP growth.
One asks: what would be wrong with all that? For some people, nothing.
For others, a lot: the alleged danger of the return of capitalist forms
of production, with the economic freedoms they entail and consequent
independence from a paternalistic State; the development of
entrepreneurship and a respect for the individual and his interests; the
free exchange of ideas, and the philosophical conclusion that the market
is a more efficient distributor of resources than government
bureaucracy, with its planning and centralization.
That bureaucracy sees American capitalists’ arrival on the scene as a
threat to its hegemonic interests. But there will be not only economic
changes. Now more than ever before, Cuba is a ripe fruit that is bound
to fall in the geopolitical orbit of the US, with all the risks that
Cuban society suffers from a chronic lack of leadership. The
perpetuation of a dictatorship based on a Stalinist model has eradicated
all forms of unofficial thought and unofficial action, and today Cubans,
most born after 1959, only know how to parrot revolutionary slogans
devoid of meaning, and resign themselves to surviving in a precarious
balance between misery and crime. Or they simply leave.
Given this social situation, in which amorality prevails, the piecemeal
sale of the country will become another element that conspires against
the existence of Cuba as an independent nation, and the worst part is
that, apparently, those in power know this; hence René González’s
warning, perhaps the result of an inadvertent indiscretion.
While Cuba’s rulers spout patriotic and misleading rhetoric, they
simultaneously harbor plans to get the embargo lifted and turn Cuba into
a kind of American protectorate, of which they will be the administrators.
We Cubans are stuck with a Government that prefers to surrender to
foreign capital rather than “change everything that must be changed;”
that is, the ban on Cubans attaining wealth legitimately, and
prohibitions against them choosing their leaders and freely gathering
and expressing themselves.
The lifting of the American economic and financial embargo against Cuba
will turn the country into something much worse than it was before 1959:
simply a holding of the US, managed by parties in cahoots with the
Island’s top brass.
It is doubtful that the residents of Pogolotti or any other Cuban
neighborhood will be able to grapple with what is coming, because it is
a conspiracy that has long been brewing behind the people’s backs, who
apparently prefer to stay out of the determination of their fates, and
to leave them in the hands of the PCC, allowing a group of opportunists,
old and young, to decide what the Cuba of tomorrow will be like.
Most Cubans are not even aware of what is coming, or even the fact that
it is, such that René González’s words must have gone in one ear and out
Ignorance disguised as ideology is what sustains the Government. Cubans
in the Atarés quarter do not know much about politics or economics, the
political Left or Right, market socialism or State monopolistic
capitalism. Cubans are not trained to think in those terms, nor are they
interested in doing so, because they are too busy worrying about what
their children are going to eat for dinner, or whether they will have
shoes to start the school year. Cuban history has been so subverted that
it ceased to be a subject of interest to them a long time ago.
Source: What lies ahead? | Diario de Cuba –