One Hundred Days with Diaz-Canel as Our President

Miguel Diaz Canel on one of his tours around Havana. Photo: granma.cu

 

We have to give this humdrum president credit though, he is keeping the only promise he made when he took on this position: that his government would be one of continuity.

 

By Repatriado

HAVANA TIMES — In the brief time Diaz-Canel has been president of Cuba, there have already been some important signs which tell us about how he is thinking of governing the country.

His absolute lack of personal charisma makes it impossible for him to be populist in a wordy way like Fidel or Chavez and thank God he has enough personal dignity not to try and become an embarrassing loud-mouth like Maduro or a new Christian/Communist in true Ortega-style.

However, he has tried to make up for this shortcoming with an energetic agenda of meetings which people might understand to be executive power and leadership, but unfortunately this kind of government (just as populist as his predecessor) ends up being an empty arrogant gesture that he gives his underlings in a paternalistic way.

One of the flaws of political and economic centralization is that the Head of State needs to know and be the best at everything, something which the late Fidel (the country’s leading engineer, doctor, bioengineer, athlete, farmer and astrologist) was well-known for.

We have seen Diaz-Canel giving such sublime guidance on the news like telling cattle breeders that they have to milk cows more to get more milk, telling drivers that they need to drive carefully and scientists that they need to be more intelligent, finishing each and every one of these theatrical meetings with words about the importance of producing more, modernizing the economy and controlling, controlling, controlling.

His closing speech at the recent Cuban Association of Journalists UPEC congress was a first-class rant of the most out-of-date Castrismo, stronghold of the most absolute tropical conservatism where the only change will be his upcoming Twitter account which has been announced for December (?).

There are still the same threatening calls for unity within the Revolution, any slight freedom of speech is blighted, tying journalist’s hands even tighter of whom he very insultingly said: they combine their state job with some dabbling in small unofficial digital media platforms “in order to earn a few dollars”, the new Ethics Code bans this activity, Cuban journalists are the Homeland’s soldiers, and “La patrie, c’est moi”.

With regard to the economy, granting licenses again in order to work in a few legal and private professions has been the most important thing. But, licenses will be handed out under an even stricter system, designed to stop anyone from prospering financially which would lead to the creation of a middle class. We will continue to be the country where the most power and wealth is concentrated in few hands, if we don’t include Kim’s Korea of course.

Referring back to the constitution that is currently being cooked up, they have already warned us that the Communist Party will remain the highest supreme power in society and the State, thereby excluding any window for the slightest bit of democratization. On the other hand, Marti’s legacy and the Marxist-Leninist doctrine “won’t be abandoned, not for an instant, which make up the main ideological foundation of our Revolution.”

So as to make sure nobody gets any funny ideas and thinks that holding citizenship from another country makes you any more safe and independent from the government, they have announced that the Constitution will stipulate that “Cuban citizens, in Cuba, will be governed by this condition and won’t be allowed to use their foreign citizenship”. It’s truly frightening…

His international outlook continues to be the same, standing alongside Cuba’s Latin American friends without criticism and without caring about how many citizens they are killing and moving towards Putin more and more, which they moved away from when they thought that Obama was going to open up the US market to them.

We have to give this humdrum president credit though, he is keeping the only promise he made when he took on this position: that his government would be one of continuity. Whether it’s because of a lack of political maneuverability, opportunism or personal weakness, any hopes for improvement for a people who desperately need a wake-up call has faded away like mist under the sun of facts. Diaz-Canel has proven that his bosses are mistaken about everything but holding onto power, even if that is indirectly so.


12 thoughts on “One Hundred Days with Diaz-Canel as Our President

  • The photograph of Diaz-Canel is interesting. For the regime of which he is the so-called “President” claims that only 9.9% of the Cuban population is black.

  • Your comments about the difficulties of being unable to afford house repairs, repair equipment or go on vacation, remind me Repatriado of a Cuban veterinary friend of mine. Following Raul Castro generously deciding that Cuban citizens would actually be allowed to stay in hotels in their own country, my friend and his wife went and stayed at an hotel in Varadero for four nights. Both particularly enjoyed mixing and talking with people from other countries, and my friend said:
    “It was the experience of a lifetime, but it cost us all our savings, we will never be able to do it again.”
    They do not have any relatives living in other countries and we seldom see a tourist in our town, so there is no opportunity to converse with people from other countries.

  • The difference between the viewpoints you express Repatriado and those of the Castro regime, is that you like Moses, Osmel and myself, believe that the main problem for Cubans is that they are denied any right to apply their talents and abilities for reward, whereas under Castro Stalinist communism the objective is to create a “mass” – the proletariat, to do as directed. There are those who suggest that in my case I am a “Conservative” or “Neo-Liberal”, but I agree with Moses who quite properly refers to the Democratic Socialist elected governments in Northern Europe in the post Second World War period. Those European countries which were denied freedom by the USSR and did not benefit from the Marshall Plan, were held under the Communist yoke until the implosion when the USSR rotted from within. But then given democratic opportunity, not one elected a communist government.
    The Castro regime doesn’t wish to recognize that Cubans are just as intelligent as those who live in the capitalist countries that practice democracy. They think of Cubans as if they are a flock of sheep, to be controlled and directed without questioning. But unlike the good shepherd, they care naught for the individual within the flock.

  • Following with drspock, yes, when a small country like Cuba deals with a giant like USA there is a risk of be mistreated because of the asymmetry of forces dealing, but I don´t see that as a moral issue because I don´t assume any morality in the behaviour among countries further than the pursue of their own interest, normally linked to the interest of the politicians, in a democratic country, hungry to show good short-term results in front of the voters, not because the politicians be pursuing the best for the people, I assume they pursue it to maintain the power and the prerogative they personally have.

    It did happened in the first 60 years of the Cuban republic when US influence was a mayor power inside our home politic, but in many ways that influence helped our own political and economic development, I put this very simple, compare Cuba 1898 and Cuba 1958, the positive difference was enormous, and of course there were a lot of injustices and situation that had to be changed, but we were going in that direction, in part against the Americans, in part thanks to the Americans.

    What you call our sovereignty is a false idea, there is no sovereignty inside an autocracy, what we have is a very small part, 0.000001 percent of our population that concentrate all powers and can decide Cuban foreign policy as well as Cuban home policy, and they always decide both policies depending on what is best for them as an elite, because differently to what happened in a more or less democratic country, they know their power do not lay in Cuban voters, the 99.99999% of the Cubans has nothing to do with sovereignty.

    So friend drspock, where do I have to surrender myself?

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