Cuba, a Dark Future with Gray Stitching

By Peregrino Perez

Street in Cienfuegos. Photo: Luis Rondon Paz

HAVANA TIMES – This past week I met a couple of friends and the conversations I had with them left me with a very sour taste on the palate.

One of them with around 60 years, an honest man, hard worker, leader in his community, member of the Cuban Communist Party, etc. The other, young also with high civic and ethical values, studied at the military preuniversity, popularly known as “Camilitos”. His university studies were also conducted in a military academy and he was part of the ranks of the Communist Youth.

Both expressed their regret over the current Cuban situation, not only for the daily shortages but for the lack of perspective. Their identification with the political left and the Revolution doesn’t cloud their judgment when it comes to assessing the context in which we live, rather survive.

It has been installed in the minds of most Cubans that the problems we suffer are insurmountable, especially due to the lack of serious management by the government. Lowering the price of goods at the farmer’s markets is not enough; there you can barely buy a part of your basic needs. Most of the products (clothing, personal hygiene, electrical appliances and many food items) must be purchased in the government stores where the prices are excessively high.

Salaries should be multiplied by ten. Unfortunately that is not the priority of the decision makers; they put more emphasis on diminishing the income of the self-employed. Make us all equal, equally poor.

I have carefully read the texts here in Havana Times of Repatriado, especially where he expresses that it is unfair that those who show our disagreements are described as stateless, worms, etc.

It is not just about seeing the stains of the system, but the lights are becoming dimmer. Criticizing and exposing the problems that affect us is essential to raise awareness of the need to solve them as soon as possible. The real and profound Cuba has nothing to do with what is shown in the official media.

Those who make decisions in Cuba are planted in their posts since decades ago. The current elections are pure theater. Until the direct and democratic vote is possible, our leaders will not be forced to take significant measures that improve the quality of life of the people. Meanwhile, they will continue to focus their efforts on social control, consolidating their power. Much has been said about making decision-making horizontal, but from “saying to doing, is a long stretch”.

Photo by: Rene Bastiaanssen

With the coming to power of Raul Castro, some of us thought that his economic pragmatism would be a boost to the country’s economy in the direction of China and Vietnam. Finally, salaries would no longer be a mere stipend. Ten years later we feel once more deceived.

Disenchantment is the feeling that prevails in most Cubans, especially those with high values ??such as the friends with whom I ran into.

Cuba has become a country of “fighters”, where honest people no longer have a place. Talking about the inverted pyramid produces fatigue and regret. This anomaly has become something natural.

The lack of projection has pushed many Cubans into exile. It doesn’t matter that the United States closed the “dry feet and wet feet” law. There will always be a destination to go to. Before Ecuador, now Chile and Uruguay. A place to escape from this absurd and gray reality.

5 thoughts on “Cuba, a Dark Future with Gray Stitching

  • And meanwhile in a ruined country

    Raul Castro retires to his stolen hacienda

    near Guisa in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra….

  • This is an interesting debate. I note the reference to China and Vietnam in the article as possible models for Cuba. Both have introduced substantial capitalist elements into their economy and both have had substantial economic growth as a result.

    But these ‘state capitalist models’ are not without their problems. Both have also kept a one party system in place and China just ‘approved’ unlimited presidential terms for President Xi. Both have extensive technology, cell phones, internet, etc. yet both are highly censored by the government. China has a privatized medical system where those with money get good treatment and those without get little or none. Because of the massive pollution that occurred during their rapid development they are looking at one million deaths a year due to lung disease from polluted air.

    I thought the mixed economy plan that the CPC approved would keep ‘essential industries like telecommunications, medical care and education socialist, while allowing small private businesses to operate as private enterprises. What happened?

  • This that you call “turn around” in what makes important HT for us, Cubans, we can find many different opinions in this site that has create a platform for Cubans to express their frustration, their critics and also they gratefulness with the 60 years government in the island.

    The Cuban news media is completely dominated for the rulers, completely, only one point of view for 60 years. This has provoked that Cubans do not have options of information, we have being for years disconnected from the rest of the world because that way was easier for our corrupt and tyrannical government to keep us under control, and if we are not longer disconnected is because they can´t control internet more.

    To be corrupt and tyrannical is one of the two only ways to maintain power for 60 years, the other way is to be extremely successful as a governor, come to my neighbour and watch how successful they have being, get ill in Cuba and enjoy the successful care system, take you children to the school and sing along with them odes to Castro and Che with an illiterate teacher.

    Cuba was not a colony of Spain, was part of Spain, big difference, Spanish empire was already dead and Spain was readapting their own to the new situation, they did big mistakes on how they treat Cubans, some of them criminals actions, and a minority of Cubans fought for independence, when Mambises were losing the war, again, this was the third attempt, Americans came and beat easily a worn away Spanish army. Did American came for their good heart? Or course not, they were creating their own empire

    Cuban independence was declare only one time, may 20, 1902. The 4 years the US Army spend here after Spain abandon Cuba were critical for Cuba´s future, sanitation was improved and modernized, epidemics that were killing peoples by thousands were efficiently controlled, education was also attended, thousands of young Cubans traveled to Harvard, free, to educated them self as teachers, and they came back, jajaja, do that now and watch how many young Cubans will be back.

    For 57 years Cuba was under the influence of US, yes, the US made big profits with that relation, but Cuba did too, in only 57 years, with a convulse political situation, Cuba passed to be at the head of development in Latin America, in some aspects we were better than Spain or Italy, Ireland or Greece, not to mentioned the right now highly developed Asians countries.

    Come and walk Habana, Habana is still today 80% build from that time, and after 60 years of not convulse political situation Habana´s buildings are in a competition to fall down the first.

    Cuba has right to nothing, Cubans has, we Cubans want the right to decide if we want or not to follow the confrontation with the biggest empire of history or to follow committing suicide while Castro Family and friends follow getting richer and having vacations in the Mediterranean sea as they do.

    I am aware the American government do not want the best for Cuba, of course not, they even don´t want the best for American people, democracy in America is corrupt and close to bankruptcy, American has a lot to improve, American has millions of persons in poverty, we can make a long list of problems America has, so? Do that justify supporting Cuban government? Do you really believe Cuba is better? Are the people so stupid that they have being abandoning Cuba for decades to go for a worst place?

    Have had Cuban the correct politics to deal with the Americans or by the contrary this politic has being, as the rest of politics during 60 years, used to keep Cubans controlled? I don´t care about the sovereignty of Cuban Island if that don´t means food in the plate for my children.

    The American must known and aggressive politics again Cuba is the blockade, but say it right, the blockade is again our government, Cuban government can´t buy any American product, by the way that is bull shit since many years ago, but that is the blockade. Cuban people do can have commerce freely with the US, I can by whatever I want in the US, BUT, Cuban Communist Government controlled Cubans life until the last detail and do not allow us to do commerce, so, who is blocking the Cuban people?

    By the way, I guess you also supports Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, then you should support Trump because they are equally demagogics.

  • Your inclination to whine about the big bad ole US of A is getting old. If we were as bad as you say and Cuba as good, why do you continue to live here?

  • I always feel so disappointed in HAVANA TIMES. The other day you published an Article on the High Standard of Education in Cuba and then you turn around and present some disparaging photos of the country and people. In the great USA, POVERTY and DISPARITY exist on a wide scale and the USA has been Independent for hundreds of years under Capitalism (1776 – 2018= 242 years). Cuba is an island which was colonized for (1492-1898=406 years of colonialism; although Independence was declared 10th October, 1868, it was not granted until in 1898 under the treaty of Paris.

    The USA did not give it its Independence until four years later in1902. Fifty Seven (57) years later the 1959 Revolution, gave it its true Independence. H. T. You speak about Freedom of the Press but your ROLE is to portray Cuba in a bad light and that Socialism is a failure. But you always FAIL to tell your readers of the 19th October1961 El Bloqueo, the 1962 All imports Trading with the enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Assets Control Act of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms Burton Act of 1996 and the Trade Sanctions Act of 2000.

    Cuba is an Independent Sovereign Nation,which has the right to pursue the economic pathway best suited to its development under the 24th October 1945 United Nations Charter. Of what use is the United Nations if its Charter cannot be followed without interference from Bullying Countries? In 1948, the USA which was the only country emerging from WOLRD WAR II without serious damge to its economy, imposed sanctions on the Soviet Union with the intention of crippling the Soviet Block. In 1950, the USA imposed Economic Sanctions on North Korea and China. All through the history of the world the USA has been the country to be imposing sanctions. Why can’t it live in PEACE with its neighbours? It cannot exist on its own. No country can!!

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