The Unity of the Majority of Cubans

By Yusimi Rodriguez

Raul Castro. Photo: Jorge Luis Baños

HAVANA TIMES, Dec 29 — Over the past several days important meetings took place in the country of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and a session of the National Assembly of Popular Power (parliament). In both of these gatherings, President Raul Castro was featured and made encouraging statements.

In his own words, Raul acknowledged that currently one of the main enemies of the revolution is corruption, since it poses more of a threat to the country than domestic subversive activity or interventionist plots by the US government.

This was a reassuring statement. It seems we’re going to quit blaming others for the shortages suffered by our people. Of course now we’re left to wonder about the root of this corruption.

But this is not an article to criticize, but to thank.

We are grateful, and those who are the most grateful are the families of the more than 2,900 prisoners who were pardoned by the Council of State in a “humanitarian and sovereign gesture.”

For years, especially when the former president and eternal leader of the revolution (Fidel Castro) became ill, I heard my fellow citizens expressing fear concerning the succession by Army General Raul Castro. A succession that was also assumed would take place without the need for elections.

Many feared the worst

People described Raul as being more inflexible and bellicose than his brother. “This guy’s going to pull the country under,” I heard someone say. But the truth is that during the tenure of the general, changes have occurred and measures have been taken that few would have dared to dream a few years ago.

Logo of the Cuban Communist Party.

I also think there’s another important point in the discourse of our current president that shouldn’t be overlooked and that should also be appreciated.

The headline in the Saturday (December 24) edition of the Granma newspaper highlights his words: “We won’t neglect, not for an instant, the unity of the majority of Cubans around the party and the revolution.”

Is there unity between the majority of the people around the party and the revolution? Or is it fear, apathy and conformism that’s felt by a large part of the Cuban population? This is at least debatable.

Nevertheless fear, apathy and complacency (and even hypocrisy) are rights to be respected. But above all, these are survival strategies.

Still, it’s good that the president recognizes that not all Cubans are represented by the Communist Party of Cuba or identify with its concept of what is and should be the revolution.

Part of the Cuban people, perhaps just a minority as was stated (or several minorities), disagrees with the system.

The question is: Will this minority at some point have the legal right to organize its members, or unite with other minorities or with/in other parties?

Another question: Will the Communist Party of Cuba at some point cease to be “The” party to simply become a political party; one of many that people can join as they wish?

One thought on “The Unity of the Majority of Cubans

  • Compared to his brother, Raul Castro has demonstrated more pragmatism and opened up the Cuban economy in ways that make a lot of sense.

    But, the decision to postpone any decision on ending travel restrictions and blaming it on the US suggests that meaningful political reforms are still a long way off or not really on the table at all.

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