By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – It must have been around 8 pm, in the evening sunset. I had just returned home after several days, so I asked my neighbor if the electricity had been on. She replied that during all these days there haven’t been any blackouts and took advantage of the moment to joke with me, asking me to please not take it away, because every time I come, I scare it off.
We laughed, and at that very moment, as if we had invoked the blackout, everything went dark. Her laughter was transformed into a grimace of disgust. To console her, I said that these would soon be over, that the Russians will send us the fuel we need. Some of the details of my explanation caught her interest, but yes, of course I warned, nothing would be free – we’d have to play the part of the prostitute.
That last bit didn’t seem to matter to her, because ordinary Cubans aren’t as much interested in freedom and sovereignty as in getting some relief from their shortages.
I remember that in 2020, when the general state of opinion was the desire for Biden to be elected with the promise of resuming Obama’s policies and eliminating restrictions, even I couldn’t help but feel relieved with the Democratic party’s victory. It’s that sometimes we prefer a fleeting relief over the painful work of giving birth to liberty.
And if this writer, who has arrived at some degree of civic conscience, couldn’t avoid feeling hope for a new Pact of Zanjon [pact that ended Cuba’s ten year struggle for independence from Spain], what can we expect of the average Cuban, who’s been the victim of irreversible anthropological harm at least in the current generations?
Luckily, I had food already made, and I limited myself to taking a shower, eating, and playing a little chess on the app installed on my cellphone. Some years ago, I was a passionate fanatic of the chess pieces, and had obtained some mediocre achievements in tournaments of this scientific game, but that’s another topic.
The thing is, since the electricity didn’t come back on until midnight and I got tired of playing chess, I began to think about the current situation.
I felt frightened at my own conclusions. A rational fear that Cuba could become a Russian military base, whose damage would be felt exclusively by the Cuban people.
We all know about the comings and goings of Russian and Cuban diplomats in recent days, to work on specific matters that they haven’t informed the public about, even though we’re aware of other collaborations in economic, financial, communications, political and military areas.
We’re already seeing large land extensions turned over to Russian investors with 30-year rights of usufruct.
The military aspect is worrisome. Our cooperation with Russia will allow the creation of military bases in the national territory and doesn’t exclude the possible installation of nuclear missiles and/or sending Cuban soldiers to the war in Ukraine.
Generally, we observe the growing Russian presence in almost all sectors of Cuban society, including the language and the currency.
In order to assure their own permanence in power, the Cuban regime is willing to hand over the Island and put it in direct danger of a direct confrontation with the United States.
Another simultaneous reading could be that the Cuban Communist Party is playing the card of blackmailing the Biden administration, so they could offer an exchange – to distance themselves from the Russian presence, under the condition that the US grant some concessions to the dictatorship.
The Russians know perfectly well that Cuba isn’t profitable in economic terms. Nonetheless, In an adverse international context, where the Russian government has become a pariah in the wake of its already failed invasion of Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin faces a warrant for his arrest issued by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, it’s very convenient for Russia to have a satellite just a few miles away from its principal enemy.
They can obtain all that in exchange for a little oil and some crumbs that will placate the Cuban people’s thirst for liberty, since they don’t know or don’t understand that being Russia’s whore in Latin America could bring us some lamentable consequences.