What’s First to Bring a Political & Economic Change to Cuba

Havana photo by Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – I have read many thinkers who propose for Cuba to start making economic changes to overcome the crisis in which the country currently finds itself. However, they have mistaken the effect for the cause.

Jorge Luis Acanda Gonzalez, a Cuban philosopher and professor at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Havana until 2018, who currently teaches at the Central University of Ecuador, wrote in the book titled Translating Gramsci: “A cultural and moral change must precede a political and economic change.”

I agree with this professor. The cause of political and economic changes must be based on the cultural and moral constructions of a country or nation.

What does this mean? If we want economic development to begin in Cuba, all those premises of the Cuban government that have governed the lives of the people since the triumph of the revolution must be changed. Here are some examples to understand the idea I’m writing about.

In the realm of Morality, the Cuban government would have to change rules such as allowing freedom of expression. Citizens must have the right to express their opinions and create their own matrix of thought. This would enable individuals to produce and realize their ideas without government intervention.

With the state’s intervention in all human actions, it is not possible to create an active individual. Rather, a passive and contemplative person is molded when they are told what movies they can watch, what classes can be taught in education, and what can be said on television, radio, and in the press.

Another example of Morality is that the Cuban government should eliminate the Command-and-Control style of state leadership and socialization with subordinates. This would ensure that the administrative apparatus is composed of leaders capable of managing and motivating teams to give their best and successfully face challenges and projects. It would achieve empathy, the ability to understand the different points of view of people, update themselves with the specific knowledge of people’s needs, learn to listen to others. The current Cuban government is authoritarian and imposing with its top-down model.

In terms of Culture, the Cuban government would have to change the dogmatic method of leading the country for one where a questioning attitude is welcome. Intransigence does not allow the state-of-affairs to be modified, it is inflexible. Questioning, on the other hand, allows individuals to reflect on their actions based on well-studied foundations and arguments. Criticism does not have artificial limits and subjects everything to analysis until it reaches the ultimate reason for things.

This post does not aim to be an essay or a preview of any scientific study, just a way of showing some coordinates in the search for solutions to the problems that the Cuban government has created over time.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.