By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – I’ve had an idea stuck in my head for weeks now, ever since President Miguel Diaz-Canel – from the only legal party in Cuba, the Communist Party – said that we need to carry on defending socialism because change would make our lives worse and that despite hardship, we still have dignity… My idea? To write about Socialism’s positive contributions in my country.
As we’re living very dignified lives under the shadow of “continuity”, I start looking for something that would make me feel like everything isn’t bleak and hopeless, that this “dignity” would help us somehow, that a bright future awaits us beyond the present.
I sit down in front of the computer, open a Word document and stay there, watching how the minutes pass by and the page is still blank, ideas aren’t coming or flowing like I’d like them to.
That’s because the truth is I wanted to paint a Cuba that is becoming more and more unrealistic, but I don’t know whether that’s because there isn’t anything to praise or because I’ve been tainted by scorn for a system that has only brought us destruction.
The reality is we’re living amidst blackouts, shortages of food, medicine, drinking water, transport etc.; amid a mass exodus, disease, accidents, unnecessary deaths, lies, repression and a dark horizon. Amidst so much audacity… it’s really hard to find something positive, because I’m not writing fiction here, but reality.
It’s also better I chop my hand off before I start writing about healthcare and education. With dengue, medicine shortages and the condition of our clinics, having good health is a blessing right now in Cuba.
What about schools, you ask? Indoctrination centers where university graduates can’t find a solution to their professional uncertainties and economic needs.
I think real hard, trying to find a hidden corner in my mind, begging a brain cell to help me with pictures of progress, something to enlighten me and… Eureka!
Yep, socialism in Cuba has contributed to humankind. I repeat, it has contributed.
We are a museum of a country. Every historian interested in studying real socialism, in its most well-known form – Stalinism, finds an accurate laboratory in Cuba, an endless source of what was one of the worst, along with Fascism, two social systems in the 20th century.
We are the lighthouse that guides Latin America, but not because of our good examples, but to warn Bolivar’s nations of the perils and not to shipwreck their dreams.
Unfortunately, some countries have ignored the signals and then they crash and come tumbling down. Venezuela, for example.
In short, we are an example to the world, showing everything you shouldn’t do if you want to build a prosperous society.
We are a country of need, the justification for criminal sciences where you must sacrifice one thing to save everything else.
We Cubans play this part.
This is socialism’s contribution on the island, at least for the rest of the world.