Alfredo Fernandez Rodriguez

I live in a free country.

A friend asked me for my New Year’s predictions for Cuba.  I —who don’t include optimism among my strong points— consented to this with what I consider a sound presage.

Let’s imagine that at the end of 2009 the country’s prime minister went before the Cuban people to proclaim, “Next year will be as good as Cubans wish it to be” (instead of what he did say: “This will be a difficult year”).  From this supposition, I wrote these notes replete with conjectures and hopes.  My predictions are as follows:

1. State measures will allow the establishment of small businesses to the point that urban cooperatives will resolve the country’s transportation problem for the first time in 51 years.

2. Measures taken in the agricultural sector will result in a greater supply of food in the country to the point that having enough to eat ceases to be a problem in Cuban homes.

3. Cubans will make use of their right to travel and corroborate the effects of the world economic crisis, while at the same time seeing the “real world.”

4. Residents of the country’s fourteen provinces will directly elect their First Secretaries (governors).

5. Cuban émigrés are allowed to return to the island regardless of their political positions.

6. The country’s universities are given autonomy, choosing their own presidents and the rest of the faculty who works in them.

7. The duel currency is eliminated, bringing an end to 17 years of “economic apartheid.”

8. Marriage between homosexuals will be approved, as well as the adoption of children by these couples.

9. On November 6, 2010, the group OMNI will organize a march for nonviolence with the unrestricted participation of youth from all areas of the country.

10. Official Cuban discourse is stripped of its belligerent tone when dealing with relations with the United States.

With this wish list I hope I have responded to the difficult request posed by my friend for a national prediction for the year that has just begun. Let’s hope my dreams become reality; and even if they are not fulfilled in 2010, let’s hold the optimism that they don’t delay too much.


Alfredo Fernandez

Alfredo Fernandez: I didn't really leave Cuba, it's impossible to leave somewhere that you've never been. After gravitating for 37 years on that strange island, I managed to touch firm ground, but only to confirm that I hadn't reached anywhere. Perhaps I will never belong anywhere. Now I'm living in Ecuador, but please, don't believe me when I say where I am, better to find me in "the Cuba of my dreams.

4 thoughts on “Guesstimates for Cuba in 2010

  • I am all for open and frank discussion about the unresolved issues of the Cuban experiment. Unfortunately the authors of Havanatimes seem to be lacking any acknowledgement of the global economic context. This saddens me as I suspect many Cubans think the same. The U.S. consumes on average five times its fair share of the worlds resources. In other words it would take five planet earths for everyone in the world to have the same standard of living as the average U.S. American. West Europe consume three times on average. Thus the only way for the Cuban economy to provide a similar standard of living is for Cuba to become one of the exploiters. At present Cuba des not exploit any country economically, in fact the opposite, even sharing its scant resources with its neighbours. This is why I say no Cuban can be considered “White” regardless of what racial structures still exist on the island. And why even some Afro-Americans are “Whiter” than some lightest skinned Cubans.

  • “Official Cuban discourse is stripped of its belligerent tone when dealing with relations with the United States.”

    Of course… because U.S. discourse toward Cuba is all peaches and cream, right? 🙁

  • Alfredo well done!

    That will be a good set of first step and more coming after. But the Cuban leadership seems to be too timid because they are afraid of loosing something the got now if they introduce changes.

    Power

  • Ojala !

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