HAVANA TIMES, Dec 21 — Any moderately intelligent people would soon figure out they were being duped, especially if the device was so obvious to the point of underestimating the reasoning ability of those being “fooled.”
The astute tricks being played by the country’s authorities are obvious. They are absolutely stop gap and respond to today’s Cuba, where expressions of discontent, dissatisfaction and disapproval of the political system are increasing.
In the first place, all of these maneuvers, resolutions, bills or whatever they’re being called are late. They should have been issued years ago, though it would have been better if what is being rescinded had never been issued at all.
Logic dictates that all those prohibitions were unreasonable and harmful to the people and even worse for the nation.
It smells a little strange that after so many taboos, we are now reaching these new levels of openness, and so suddenly, one after another (of course one cannot refuse to believe “in change, human improvement and the utility of virtue,” as Marti once said). But in the case of these regimes, one needs to be suspicious.
The lack of credibility that plagues their actions, the unpopularity of their plans and the level of demystification of their heroes have caused them to gradually condition society by giving Cuba a number of palliatives to mitigate the unbearable pain of its citizens, deprived of political, legal, civic rights.
But those palliatives are only that, painkillers for a condition that continues to exist. The torment will not cease without total removal.
I’ve thought a bit about this and it turns out:
– The Cuba of UMAP (labor camps for anti-establishment individuals in the 1960s), of the ideological “parameters” and witch hunts of the 1970s, is now immersed in a campaign against homophobia (pleasing a social sector that can be quite defiant in extreme situations, and giving the country a new international image). However, it is being argued that Cuban society is not prepared for the legalization of relations between homosexuals, and marches and ceremonies of groups will be convened only if supervised and permitted by CENESEX and Mariela Castro, the institution and the individual who initiated this crusade.
– The Cuba where Cubans were denied access to hotels and tourist facilities designed for hard currency generation has today opened its doors to everyone (pleasing many people who have pockets deep enough for vacations and stays in these resorts. The tourists don’t ask many questions; the Cuban presence makes for a better picture of the island and its people; and hustlers have an easier time, becoming less hostile in their aggressive in their interactions with foreigners.
By the way, currency in the hands of nationals is collected and registered in offices and files of such resorts, giving more control with the first and last names of people and their income levels.
– The Cuba that once crucified the words “business” and “private property,” now allows self-employment and small independent enterprises (pleasing a group avid for private enterprise, the government collects taxes at sky-high rates, saves on the payment of wages, doesn’t have to secure some jobs and the domestic economy is made to seem to be reviving).
Yet most everyone knows it’s really not like this, but nonetheless resigns themselves to it. By virtue of not having been allowed anything, they now feel like getting whatever they can, and with many people scurrying around — daily — they will be too busy to dwell on certain analyses or engage in any activity that endangers their little business.
–The Cuba where personal property seemed more like the property of the state, is now allowing the sale and transfer of properties such as homes and cars (the government is agreeing to permit owners to sell what belongs to them in the name of facilitating and enhancing the economic and social development of people. However, this is being done for no other reason than to benefit itself, charging a percentage on both sides of the transactions).
By the way, it should be pointed out that these same transactions that were carried out but illegally in the past will not be viewed as legal now, thus causing the beginning of new illegalities. But what will be exposed in the process will be many of these tricks that were carried out by the public through their lawyers and the staffs of Housing Department offices in acquiring and selling their homes and cars.
–The Cuba where freedom of expression was a utopia after 1959, is now advocating the “derecho a la palabra” (the right to speak), criticism by citizens (thus allowing an irrevocable human right). Departments in the provincial headquarters of the Communist Party are now empowered to register people’s concerns and complaints.
Nevertheless, they will not accept proposals for change or questioning under this “permission.” What is demanded in universities is more combativeness against any expression of dissent and increasingly more political discussions at the different educational levels, trying to manipulate the next generation, using history and creating an awareness of the advantages of socialism as a fair and preferable system, and the only one possible in Cuba.
–The Cuba of the absolutely official and centralized press, today is ironically making mention of a free unbiased press (without changing anything here, it’s pure rhetoric) every day waging fiercer wars against independent and alternative journalism, calling it cyber-dissidence, and every day blocking more sites so people are denied use of them, not to mention all the efforts made to postpone and delay access to the Internet by Cubans.
That’s why to me (and for many others) any of the new measures being put in place meet no other goal than to try to divert attention from the real problem: the need for an immediate change of policies and the authorities in place in Cuba.
Their palliatives, in concrete terms, are doing nothing but strangling the real possibilities for growth, prosperity and individual freedoms. Since this heartfelt desire is so exploited, and was abandoned so many years ago, I (and many others) have to wonder: Who are they kidding?