Different Views on a Cuba Explosion

Fernando Ravsberg

Obispo St. in Old Havana. Photo: Raquel Perez

HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 20 — Recently I got my hands on an economic analysis of Cuba from a Western embassy, a study that paints a very different picture from what we’re accustomed to hearing.

It even claims that there’s now a currency reserve here on the island of over $5 billion USD.

It predicts that the growth in tourism revenue will end up at 15 percent this year, with similar expansion in industrial production as well as light growth in the agricultural sector.

Exports are expected to increase, with petroleum derivatives and oil extraction climbing as high as 10 percent.

They report that “(foreign) companies that accepted certificates of deposit from Cuban banks with six-month maturities to settle their debts and their frozen accounts have received payments on time for the third time.”

The report concludes by saying that the Cuban economy “is stable with low growth” but continuing a “rigorous” process of internal and external adjustment in which there is no short term expectation of a crisis similar to the one experienced in 2008.

Finally, it reminds readers that in a few months oil exploration will start off the island’s coast and if the results are positive “the favorable consequences for Cuba would begin to be immediately felt and could be powerful.”

The Miami View is Different

Meanwhile in the US, new conspiracy theories are emerging in which Cuba is behind all the evils of the world.  One Florida newspaper went so far as to accuse Fidel Castro of training sharks to attack tourists in Miami.

Now, according to exiles whose organizations that have had their funding cut are saying that the Cuban government was behind that action, as they complain that Washington “has fallen into a trap” hatched by Havana to cut all aid to the “resistance”.

Another Miami newspaper says the global protest movement of the “indignant” is completely infiltrated. According to its version, the strings are being pulled from the shadows by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

They say that “the same anarchy is occurring with those who are camped out in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol as with the students in Chile, on Wall Street, in Washington DC and other “indignant” groups around the world – all infiltrated by members of the Communist Party.”

The journalist asserts that these agents were “sent with the specific purpose of causing chaos” throughout the world, adding that “it has been confirmed” that Cuban intelligence is manipulating the Chilean students.

(It’s fortunate that this newspaper wasn’t aware that my wife, a Cuban photographer, was there on May 15 at the first demonstration of the “indignant” Spanish.” Surely it would have included her in the international conspiracy).

To cap it all off, the periodical calls for apocalyptic repression saying that “if governments do not take firm stances, the pillar that sustains each affected country will collapse. It is time that the authorities act (…) Tomorrow may be too late.”

Another writer in Miami tried to explain why there is no movement of the “indignant” in Cuba.  He contends that “the regime still has the ability not only to keep dissent actions fragmented, but also to ensure that small protests (…) do not reach greater dimensions.”

The funny thing is that after recognizing that the government maintains iron political control, the analyst concludes that, as if by magic, “all this leads to an increased chance of social explosion.”

But the opposition on the island is less “optimistic. Blogger Dania Garcia, during the founding of a new splinter group, explained to us foreign journalists that their job is an uphill struggle because Cubans are “an ignorant people.”

Those in Miami who dream of a miraculous and unexpected popular explosion that overthrows the government have not analyzed in depth what happened in other countries. They are automatically extrapolating very different situations.

If the Cuban opposition wants to garner some useful experience from the Arab uprisings or the Western movements of the indignant, they should first understand what actually happens in such societies and then make a serious analysis of the reality of the island.

In the case of Cuba they don’t even need to work their brains too hard; Western embassies have fairly objective studies of the national situation and even the US diplomats themselves have reflected the situation in the secret cables revealed by Wikileaks.

Blogger Yoani Sanchez asked in Twitter: “When will we Cubans become publicly indignant? When will we understand that here there are thousands of reasons to be indignant?” But the answer is not in social networks or gatherings in Miami, but on the streets of Cuba, in the midst of the people.

2 thoughts on “Different Views on a Cuba Explosion

  • Fernando Ravsberg said:

    “Recently I got my hands on an economic analysis of Cuba from a Western embassy, a study that paints a very different picture from what we’re accustomed to hearing.”

    Fernando! Any chance of getting a link to this document, or is it a SECRET?

  • Hi Fernando,

    Thank you for your article. Could it be that Cubans, as you say, aren’t fully aware of other countries’ uprisings – and their consequences – because they’re not sufficiently exposed to foreign news? How exposed is the average Cuban to foreign “dissident” activity?

    Please keep writing.


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