HAVANA TIMES — In recent years, the citizens of Puerto Rico and the Falkland Islands (a.k.a Islas Malvinas) were consulted regarding the status of their respective territories. Both preferred annexation or integration to a First World country over independence. If Cuba were granted the possibility of choosing, what would its citizens decide?
More than half a century of “socialism” has eroded Cubans’ sense of belonging to a territory and culture. In Cuba, “homeland” is a word about to become extinct. No dictatorship, no blockade, not even US neo-colonialism was able to achieve this.
A good part of Cubans living on the island, particularly the young, longs to escape. Preferably towards the north, but Ecuador, Chile, China and other destinations will also do. The point is to leave for any corner of the planet where there’s at least some hope of getting ahead, even at the cost of enormous sacrifice.
I myself am a good example of an uprooted citizen: I am not proud of a people who acquiesce to dictatorship. The symbols of the homeland disgust me. If it weren’t for my folks, I would have picked up and left a long time ago.
This, however, doesn’t make me blind to the perversity that surrounds the issue of annexation. Of course the inhabitants of a country saddled by chronic poverty long to “become integrated” into any rich neighbor willing to open its doors to them, but that’s only part of the story.
The responsibility of the rich for the chronic and structural poverty of the poor is the other. Evoking the first without recalling the second would be highly unjust.
In less than twenty years, fossil fuel shortages and climate change will unleash a global crisis. We’ll have wars, massive exoduses and shifting national borders. Some analysts believe that, as a result of this, small nations will fuse into larger blocs and lose their sovereignty in the process.
If that were to happen, what bloc would Cuba gravitate towards? Towards the north or towards the south? The current trend points toward the south, but who knows what will happen tomorrow.
In any event, civil liberties and individual rights will be hard to preserve in the midst of the coming social upheavals. We’re already experiencing this.
This is the end of my predictive, geo-strategic analysis of annexation.