By Roberto Carcasses
HAVANA TIMES – Cuba’s leadership and National Assembly have asked Cubans their opinion about the new Constitution and what they would like it to be. And I have taken it to heart.
I never imagined that I would ever have this opportunity in my lifetime, bearing in mind just how many people are born, live and die without this chance. Therefore, I do believe that Cuban authorities have taken an important step.
Some friends and acquaintances have said to me: Why am I going to tell them what I think if they are just going to do what they feel like, like they always do?
And, in response, I have said: I am going to tell them what I think so that, if they do whatever they feel like again, and everything (or almost everything) carries on in the same poor old state, I won’t have that uneasy feeling in my gut because I didn’t speak out when I had the chance.
Let me be clear, I am not representing anyone other than myself here. I would like to think that everyone can represent themselves and live freely, responsibly, making use of their common sense. However, I accept democratic standards for now, which can be improved, and the best thing that we have managed to achieve up until today as the species or intelligent animals we are.
I believe that one of the most important points which needs to be recorded in the final document is ensuring the rights of every different school of political thought.
Departing from the general premise that physical and verbal violence aren’t the means towards achieving progress and prosperity. Constitutions are made by human beings and no individual or group can define a social system to be eternal and irrevocable because the Constitution would then no longer be secular (as it declares itself to be), giving this individual, or church, or group the role of the anointed one or God. And, both individuals and groups make mistakes.
No Cuban who has a sincere desire to improve their country via peaceful means, using arguments and good actions, can be considered a traitor to the Homeland, even if they don’t agree with socialism as a form of government; because whoever wants to perpetuate a system, which has proven to be inefficient economically-speaking and questionable at the very least ideologically-speaking, could also be considered a traitor.
I believe socialism and revolution brought Cuba both good and bad things. It stirred the ability to dream for a better life in millions of Cubans. The country’s cultural and spiritual bar was raised by training professionals in every branch of human knowledge and they tried to establish a welfare state, an illusion which we experienced in very short bursts. However, the socialist project’s ideological strictness, repression and awful economic management resulted in many people becoming disillusioned from the very beginning, not agreeing with its ideas and, as a result, with their leaders.
Millions emigrated, others stayed here. Thousands are coming back. All of them should have the same rights as those who defend the current system. All form part of what is understood to be the Cuban population and I believe that we are at a point in our history in which we can enter a dialogue and listen to each other, to someone who doesn’t think like me but treats me with respect and who I can learn something from. If we manage to do this, it could also be considered another of the “Revolution’s achievements”.
We have already grown spiritually, now we need to grow economically so we can live better lives. Who wants this to happen as soon as possible more than we Cubans? We want to see this ourselves and leave our children a country which they feel proud of and don’t want to leave. That’s why I believe that we should promote and support Cubans investing in their own country, in its small, medium and large companies, depending on the capital they have available, rather than encouraging foreign investment. Everything still needs to be done in our economy.
There isn’t any concrete, nails, rugs or transport etc. Only Cubans, wherever they come from or wherever they are and however they think, are the most interested in using their creativity and resources so that we can all grow, together and as individuals, according to our skillset and inventiveness, without anyone limiting us, with real economic and political power so that we can make our dreams come true, without losing our spirit of solidarity or social conscience.
If we are able to do all of this, then the US Government won’t have any other choice but to lift the Blockade when they see us Cubans helping ourselves, together.