—A few days ago, Cuba shuddered following the removal of numerous political and administrative figures from their posts in the high spheres of power.
Among the names that particularly stood out were Carlos Lage Davila, the Secretary of the Council of Ministers; and Felipe Perez Roque, the foreign minister. It was a surprise was because these men, both relatively young, had led outstanding political and executive careers for more than a decade, and their faces and names were never absent from the media.
Since these figures represented the hope of fresh air for the revolution, I want to make the most of the occasion to think aloud on the matter of the transition of power in Cuba, a topic so exceedingly threadbare.
Even accepting as true that the transition of power in our country can be democratic and just, it is undeniable that these domestic hurricanes have left standing in their wake only the oldest of stock: an old troop of soldiers of irreproachable honesty and fidelity. However, their strength has begun to decline and will become even more inalterable with the passing of time.
The matter now is who will take their places if all of the youth -even those who spoke their same language, those who were trained for such a long time, those who even enjoyed Fidel’s esteem- demonstrated themselves in the end to be unreliable. What will be left for the sprouts that bud from now on?
These 50 years of revolution have left a deep imprint on Cuban culture regarding the issue of power and its authenticity.
I fear that people no longer hold a great deal of respect for our institutions and organizations, because these have shown their unquestioning alignment with the will of the leaders. Nor have these bodies shown respect for beliefs and ideologies, since they are not contortionists that can flexibly adapt to their environment, at least not without major problems.
People no longer believe in their own power for self-government; nor do not have such a habit after a half century of top-down administration.
In short, despite the beneficial accomplishments over the years in the areas of healthcare, education and other vital services, this period has been disastrous, from my point of view, in terms of civic culture.
This holds true especially in relation to governance. With the departure the old men, it will be necessary to recall what has been forgotten, and to learn what we never knew.
In an environment such as this, in which the people’s relationship to the leaders has become a matter of loyalty, the only way anybody could govern with legitimacy is with their gradually winning the people’s respect through their daily efforts.
However, that changing of the guard has not yet begun, and succession could suddenly become a very convulsive moment.
There is an opportunity for change here, and just as those who seek to commit piracy against Cuba lie in wait, so too do those who aspire for a socialism without Big Brother. Who will prevail?