By Erasmo Calzadilla
It’s a common belief on this side of the planet that if you were to dig a hole deep enough, you’d come up perhaps in the backyard of a house or the grounds of a temple, or in some stadium in China.
In a simplistic way, we might expect China to be our geographical antipode and would also be so in terms of political questions.
However, reading an interview in Granma newspaper with the Asian giant’s ambassador titled: “China: The Flags of Socialism Held High,” published on September 30, I found the distance between them and us to be less than what one might have thought.
Exactly as we’re used to hearing under tropical socialism, the diplomat recounted how China’s staggering progress would not have been achieved without “the wise command of the Communist Party.”
I don’t know much about this, but it sounds to me like they too enjoy an article in their constitution specifying the Party as the force that governs, and -like with our Party- those who are members fulfill this task wisely, according to judgments they make of their own work.
The ambassador continued by saying that so much development would not have been possible “without the conscious, enthusiast and resolved support of the Chinese people.”
Except for being able to talk about development, all of the rest sounded just the same as here.
Nor do they apparently lack perennial enemies: those foes of socialism, people against China, the plotters, saboteurs, “subverters of the ideology” (here we just call them diversionists, it’s shorter).
“But the people, also under the direction of the Communist Party, are convinced that those obstacles will disappear,” Zhao stressed.
Then, referring to the most recent plenary session of the Central Committee of the Chinese Party, he pointed out that “the main issue was the building of the organization, and how to govern, how to lead for the benefit of people.” That is also the central concern of our Communist Party, according to the speeches of its ideologists in each one of its plenary sessions.
Notwithstanding, it’s also necessary to point out that the rhetoric of the Chinese leaders is not identical to their Cuban counterparts on all points. The ambassador made mention in several paragraphs of the “liberalization of the productive forces” that has led them along the path to the development that they have just begun to reach.
I believe that our leaders are a little clearer that the traditional notion of “development” is a western formula that is alienating and inhuman, and that following it -if it were pursued by all countries- would speed up the destruction of the planet, which we are now beginning to see.
This reminded me of the words of the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, when he spoke to a group of computer science students a couple years ago. When one student asked him why Cubans weren’t allowed to travel independently outside the country, he explained that if we all traveled by plane this would lead to congestion in the sky and all types of airplane crashes.
With so much similarity between Cuba and China, a similar question occurred to me: Can they travel independently beyond their walls?