“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” JFK (I completely disagree)
HAVANA TIMES —Will Diaz Canel be another great waste of time like Raul Castro? Will he perhaps be an Adolfo Suarez or a Joaquin Balaguer? Suarez led the transition from Franco to freedom in Spain and he democratically turned over power when the voting results demanded he do so. Balaguer did the same after the dictator Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, although he never left politics and perpetuated himself in power through questionable methods. This held back the DR from establishing a true democratic system.
Will a better Cuba start with Diaz Canel? While time makes this clear, I can either wish or flee. Eros or Thanatos.
I wish for a radical politician who takes political analyses to the very end, concluding that democracy is our greatest need because we need democracy before urban transport, painted hospitals, dignified wages or productive farming, in order for all this to be sustainable.
I wish for a politician who cultivates freedom to knock down dogmas and to constantly replace ideas with better ones, who understands the process of building, deconstructing and reconstructing in an infinite, continuous and plural way.
I wish for a politician who leads small changes in a coherent manner, changing things gradually so that corrections can be made as they develop, who doesn’t demand huge social sacrifices, the awful sum of millions of sacrificed individuals for the sake of tomorrow’s society, sacrifices which even they aren’t willing to suffer a lot of the time.
I wish for a politician who is able to walk hand-in-hand with uncertainty. A centralized planned economy leads to political centralization as only a single concentrated, authoritarian and totalitarian power can react efficiently (and only for so long) to the infinity of diversions that social plurality impose on any attempt of closed planning.
I wish for a politician who plans so as to get his bearings, as a tool not an objective, who is open to changing his plans in view of how individual initiatives emerge in realty, not standing in their way so that it suits their fancies, no matter how scientific they want to be, because this will always fail, even if they try it for 60 years or more.
I wish for a politician who seeks consensus, who exposes themselves to criticism, who boasts about their ability to take a step back and tolerate differences, who is an expert handling contradictions, being a prism where individual rays of light filter into a great beam of light, not a black hole which devours everything without a second thought.
I run away from the arrogant revolutionary and his “great idea” about how we should be, wanting us to adjust to their preconceived fantasies via cloudy theories which never resemble society’s great diversity and has more mysticism than science, more faith than reason.
I run away from those who want to change everything, immediately and definitively, using a great state machinery that joins individuals together into a shapeless mass, an excessive ego which makes him think that he is history’s architect, the driver of peoples, visionary or shaman.
I run away from those who don’t want or demand critique, they crush it just like they trample on reason, their personality creates a gravitational force which crushes any kind of creative thought, dissidence, thereby being out of touch with this distant reality.
I run away from those who promise paradises, abstract goals which only they can envisage, the Lenins and Fidels who have imposed dictatorships based on collective hypnosis, induced by the shiny pendulum watch of an abstract illusion which only shines in their demagogic invocations.
I run away from those who put off results and enthrone the means as such, not defending their revolution’s objectives as this is the only place where they justify their existence.
Many times, great transitioning moments in history have depended on the character or the stamp of the leader of the hour, so whether we want him or not, Diaz-Canel is the person who embodies this leader right now and our present and future depend on him a great deal.
Even though I don’t know how to be optimistic right now, I am clinging onto thinking logically and I tell myself that the fact that Diaz-Canel was imposed on us doesn’t exactly mean that he can’t still surprise us, so I’m crossing my fingers for the Cuba I wish for, which might resemble the Cuba you wish for too.