Controversy Regarding Buena Fe Tour in Spain
By Francisco Acevedo
HAVANA TIMES – Buena Fe was the band all the kids listened to when it first started out, mostly because of its daring and anti-establishment lyrics, in which they encouraged a sparrow to make its nest at the Central Committee, “and not on some rooftop in San Miguel.”
However, several years after having won the respect of the vast majority of the population, they have been increasingly rejected because they have become the Government’s publicity puppets, with lyrics that are more and more indulgent, and they constantly sidestep the trickiest subjects in Cuban society today.
Last week, social media was in a heated debate, taking advantage of the fact that the band was in Spain trying to carry out a tour, but they were boycotted everywhere.
Cuban state-controlled media quickly launched a campaign, where people came out every day to praise the group (strangely enough, they were all managers, and not people off the street), while the message was totally different in many corners of the Earth.
An interview was even broadcast on national TV with band leader Israel Rojas, in which he once again says that any change in Cuba will be bloody (it seems he’s afraid for his life and is manipulating the audience in passing, because violence has never come from the unarmed Cuban people).
Clearly, he’s realized that Cuban emigres are different today, and they don’t hold him up, because he supported the Combat Order issued by President Miguel Diaz-Canel on July 11th 2021, and he has continued to support the Government in all this time that has passed since. He thought that nostalgia would open up doors to him everywhere, like it has in the past, but this isn’t the case anymore; “We’re paying a high price,” he admitted.
In the interview, he emphasizes the “neocolonial interests” of people who want a change in government and donning the sovereignty flag discredits them, when the rest of the world is sovereign in democracy too, and not in a dictatorship.
Are we really more sovereign now when we have nothing, than we were before? Do the sovereign people really decide anything?
In his words, we experienced an opening launched under the Obama Administration, and we suffered now under Trump, but he doesn’t say that nothing really changed in Cuba during this opening phase.
It’s makes perfect sense that people don’t agree with him filling his pockets while he supports those who repress his fellow Cubans who wanted to express their disagreement with the system, because the right to freedom doesn’t exist for these protestors, and he doesn’t want his potential audience to have this right either if they turn their backs on him.
He can’t ask his government to let artists like Willy Chirino perform in Havana, but he wants to go abroad in search for dollars.
He doesn’t think it’s a problem that young people in his country can’t demand their rights without being subjected to beatings, and what’s worse, he asks to be respected everywhere else in the world. Living with shortages isn’t a problem either, because it affects him a lot less, especially because of his political stance in July 2021.
Cuba’s Food and Agriculture Situation
We also had to listen this past week to Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, who said producers and intermediaries were to blame for food shortages in Cuba.
According to him, 80% of Cuban agriculture is under private management, because lands were gradually handed over to cooperatives and individuals, and they are the ones responsible.
Does anyone really think these cooperatives have real autonomy? Can any of them decide on their own, when, how much, how and what they can sow? Can any of them buy a tractor they need on their own? Are they not subjected to the same completely nationalized distribution and collection systems? Who is selling the fuel, fertilizers, and seeds?
Please, Marrero, that’s enough of always shifting the blame to those who are at least working under the hot sun, while you are constantly sitting in your air-conditioned office and adding pounds to your already obese body.
It’s like blaming citizens for the poor state of housing. Of course, a house is an individual’s property, but does this person have access to cement, bricks, rebar, stone, etc., to build or repair their house or building? Please.
For anyone to really make the most of their property, they need to be able to manage what they need to make it profitable, whether that’s paper or meat. Land, or a factory, doesn’t produce anything on its own.
Not to mention that if anyone wants to manage and do things on their own, like they should under normal conditions, and they show up with a “non-authorized” supply item, they are soon inspected to see where they got it from, and might even lose the land they worked so hard to put in their name.
If we’re talking about intermediaries, then you’ve got to have some nerve, because the State is the first intermediary, from the backbreaking prices it fixes for products that it pays a ridiculously low price for from those who produce it, to direct sales of knick-knacks it buys abroad, adding tax of up to 300% in foreign currency stores.
It asks for contracts and demands sanctions when the fuel crisis was due to a breach of contract. They owed money to railroad workers who protested a few days ago, and dissolved the Central Bank so they didn’t have to try and avoid paying their huge debt in London. Shame on you.
This happens when they want to privatize without really privatizing, with just a lick of make-up to cover a few mouths, but without really applying private property, so they don’t lose control, which has always been the Cuban Government’s fear. Not those who want to even imitate the China and Vietnam “example”, where they do have a free market even though they still hold onto political power.
The reality is that it’s been 64 years and they are still asking for us to be patient to see the results, and that people supporting them continue to get rich thanks to the hard work of emigres. Like one of their role models used to say: Humanity has said enough.