HAVANA TIMES – Several months after being appointed as President of Cuba, chosen by Raul Castro, we have finally been able to listen to Diaz-Canel speak.
A politician should be judged by the results they produce rather than by their words, but because nothing has changed in Cuba since he came into power, we will have to stick to what he has said for the first time outside of a previously-written speech to get to know him a little better.
I want to start by confessing that the government is led by the guidelines issued by Raul Castro on April 19th 2018, if anybody had any doubts about who is really in control here in Cuba.
He talks to us about a “transparent dialogue with the people” while he defends centralized media control as outlined by the already approved Social Communication Policy, “We have to make our public agenda coincide with the media’s agenda”. Mmm… shouldn’t it be the other way around? However, we can see that he doesn’t think the media exists to seek out the truth but to “create uplifting content” instead.
He was emphatic and resolute when he pointed out that “the main obstacle to Cuba’s development is the US government’s blockade,” managing to spin this excuse even further and blaming it for internal administrative and management problems too, which he called “subjective obstacles,” while blaming the United States outright for everything. In other words, the US is to blame for every restriction that the government imposes on Cuban citizens and for violating our most basic human rights.
With regard to the draft Constitution that has been written up under Raul Castro’s direct leadership, he said that this “responds to the economic and social changes that we have been experiencing as a result of the VI and VII Cuban Communist Party Congresses,” making is crystal clear that the Constitution is by and for the Communist Party (PCC).
When asked about the omission of the word “Communist” in the new Constitution, the president said: “Communism and Socialism are intricately linked. If you want to build socialism, it’s because you want to get to Communism… I understand any of the two terms (Communism and Socialism) to imply the other.”
He shut down any possibility of democracy using the PCC ideological department’s argument about the importance of national unity and a single-party, “because the enemy’s main aim is to break up our unity.” He doesn’t recognize any legitimate opposition, anyone who opposes the Party is an enemy, more specifically “the counter-Revolution paid and funded by the US Government.”
Referring to the article which restricts assets accumulation, he says that it has created a lot of debate, but that contrary to what we might believe, “people aren’t asking us to remove this article, but to emphasize that there won’t be a concentration of assets and also to add that there won’t be wealth accumulation.” In short, Cubans seem to love how they limit our freedoms and control us.
But to give him credit, as the modern man he is, “We won’t stand for any kind of discrimination” referring to same-sex marriage, even though it seems that political discrimination will continue to exist and the ever-more evident public financial discrimination in favor of politicians, members of the military and their families.
He didn’t forget about our youth, at least he didn’t forget about our youth who still haven’t managed to leave. He claims that they don’t want democracy, but that “they hope that the country develops quickly… I don’t think that their main wish is to be against the Party and the Revolution. Their main wishes focus around more progress.”
In a nutshell, we have seen a president who only controls the inexpressive muscles in his face, who doesn’t contribute a single idea or new vision, who accepts that his government is Raul’s own in the most natural way and that the Constitution belongs to the Party, the same protagonists who have led us to where we are now over the past 60 years.
Can someone get me a visa please?