Cuba’s Future: How to Prepare Ourselves for a Hurricane Worse than Sandy

Erasmo Calzadilla

Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — If we’re to believe science and our biological temperature sensors, industrial civilization and the world we live in as a whole will be gasping for air in less than two decades. The shortage of raw materials, the ecological catastrophe and the trauma of falling from so high will turn everything we know upside down.

In economically poor countries that import their sources of energy, the mess will be felt a little sooner. Here, in Cuba, it will begin as soon as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela slips and falls.

With such dark clouds already looming above us, shouldn’t we be covering up our windows with boards or something like that? Do Cuba’s leaders at the very least regard this hypothesis as a possibility? Are they correctly informing the people about a future that does not look too good?

I would be prudent not to bet on it. The Castros already got us into a mess one time making us believe the socialist bloc would last forever. History threatens to repeat itself. What do General/President Raul Castro and his team of advisors think about the current oil and climate panorama?

If we follow the trail of State investment in Cuba, we can discern how those who still hold the reins think. They don’t strike me as worried. Rather, one gets the sense that they are getting ready for a new era of fat cattle, and hotels and golf courses at full capacity, prosperous international trade and harbors replete with yachts.

The decision to spend our meager resources to doll up the country for the great ballroom dance of dollars and Yuans strikes me as an extremely dangerous bet. Would you build a palace (and I am also thinking about a sophisticated fields of solar panels here) with a hurricane practically at your doorstep?

Another way of getting to understand the Cuban government’s vision of the future is reading Cuba’s official press. Granma (the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party), Orbe (published by Prensa Latina), Telesur (the official television channel of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) and others who applaud every step towards development (measured on the basis of the GDP) taken by progressive governments, led by Russia and China, and sing praises every time a new oil rig begins operations.

All of this indicates, dear friends, that our own technocrats aren’t looking far into the future and they are very likely to get us into yet another big mess.

If, in spite of their optimistic predictions, the storm triggers, what they are most likely to do is to impose a kind of police and citizen control on us – not because they are particularly evil or stupid, but because that is the logic of power. They look after their own interests. We should do the same.

What is to be done, then?

I’ll continue to address the issue in my next post.


Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

7 thoughts on “Cuba’s Future: How to Prepare Ourselves for a Hurricane Worse than Sandy

  • Why don’t you leave that for cubans to decide? Oh! I’ve forgotten, we don’t have a democracy!

  • Terry, you are ALMOST right. The US buys from China more than the Chinese buy from the US. That is too say, we have a TRADE DEFICIT. The US can refuse to sell to China and therefore hurt our businesses but that is not necessary since China needs US products just as much as we need Chinese buyers. So far… On a separate issue, China owns about 18% of US Treasury debt and about 5% of US real estate. Both of these are sufficient to weaken but not destroy the US economy. Once again, the Chinese have very poor second choices as investments in both these areas so we are stalemated. So far..The US embargo is against COMPANIES, not countries who do business with Cuba. This is unlike SANCTIONS which exist with North Korea, Iran, etc. The Chinese will tolerate exactly what they must tolerate. It has been estimated that total Cuban exposure for China’s economy is less than 0.05%. The Chinese will not threaten their best customer over the relatively tiny amount of business they do (or not do) with a small island of 11 million poor people. The City of Los Angeles, for perspective, did TEN TIMES the amount of business with China than Cuba did in 2012. Again, Cuba does not build, process, or manufacture ANYTHING that Americans want in any amount to sustain the argument that embargo is holding Cuba back. On the contrary, if Cuba had mineral wealth, oil, or anything that America wanted, the embargo would be lifted faster than you could spell C-AP-I-T-A-L-I-S-M.

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