Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Weekly)
HAVANA TIMES — No matter how much some choose to minimize it, the result of the parliamentary elections in Venezuela has represented a harsh blow to the Latin American left, if we add it to what just happened (or will happen) in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador.
If there really is a Plan B for the Cuban authorities — something that no one should doubt, considering President Raul Castro’s farsighted nature ever since Sierra Maestra days — it may be found in the same strongbox where he kept the secret negotiations with the United States before the reestablishment of relations on Dec. 17 of last year. And under the same combination.
To underestimate the people’s wisdom and sagacity would be a big mistake, at least in Cuba, where everyone knows how to read and — more importantly — think and interpret.
Last Sunday, the day of the elections, many Cubans remained glued to Telesur and the results of the parliamentary elections. They were not functionaries assigned to monitor what many predicted would be “a done deal,” so they could then submit their evaluations to the higher echelons of the government or party.
No, sir. They were ordinary people, plain citizens with the same big concern as everyone else in the country: What will happen to the supply of Venezuelan oil to Cuba?
Some, in high places and not the type to crack jokes, asked their friends if they had a tankful of gasoline and a 5-gallon emergency gas can.
Cuba is no longer in any condition to withstand a second Special Period. Everybody here knows that, even the great-grandchildren of those who once had to get rid of their purebred dogs.
Some analysts in the international media assume that, if the trend to the right continues in Caracas under a president who now finds himself in a tough situation, Cuba would crank up its good-will relations with the United States, fearing a possible reduction of the shipments of crude oil to the island. A majority in the Venezuelan Congress permits the revision of pacts, among other changes.
But this catalysis that, according to them, would speed up Cuba’s relations with the U.S. would not be a preferred or the ideal solution for Havana because — in chess terms — it would be like losing a knight to win a pawn.
I would like to add that the Cuban leadership, as well as practically all the think tanks, native and foreign, has been anticipating for a long time a readjustment in U.S. policy, with an eye to gradually recovering the hegemonic control that Washington lost south of its borders.
And Venezuela is a key point, which doesn’t mean that the result of the elections held in that sister nation was totally caused by maneuvers concocted in Washington.
In the back of their heads, the Cuban people presume or foresee the full implementation of a Plan B that is ready to take effect when the moment comes. For the past several months, the Cuban people have been watching the travel of important officials to oil-producing countries with which the government maintains excellent relations and exchanges.
Are they right or wrong? That incorruptible judge known as Time will tell us.