A friend just wrote to me: “I GOT COFFEE !!!!”. Thus, with capital letters and with extra exclamation marks. My friend is happy because this time he did not spend the entire morning awake in vain, on top of a tree, hidden from the police, to, at dawn, jump from the branch where he was sitting and be among the first in line at a store in dollars — Cubans earn their salaries in national currency. This time, after all that juggling, my friend did not return home empty-handed as on many other occasions. In Cuba, due to the pandemic, there is a curfew from nine at night to five in the morning, and many people have no choice but to buy something of the little that is in stores and markets. due to the serious economic situation that the country is going through, having to spend all those hours hidden in corridors or stairs of buildings or paying for the rent of a balcony near the store to stay or, like my friend, climbing a leafy tree where the branches cover the body when the police patrols pass through the public highway ensuring that the non-circulation of people is observed.
While the people star in surreal scenes like the previous one to survive the swamp left by the more than 240 measures of the Donald Trump administration against Cuba, the cuts in economic aid from the ally Venezuela, the fall in tourism on the island after the The pandemic and the misguided economic reorganization promoted by President Miguel Díaz-Canel, the leaders and selected members of the only authorized political party in the country, the communist, meet at the Havana Convention Center. The conclave is the eighth congress in the history of the organization that, according to the Magna Carta, is the “superior leading political force of society and the State” and from it will come the government directives that outline the future of the nation for the next lustrum.
They have called it the congress of “historical continuity”, which could be interpreted as a patch before a possible uncooked comes out. With Fidel Castro underground and with his heir and brother Raúl Castro, who from this appointment will go home with his retirement under his arm at almost 90 years of age giving way to the new generation of bureaucrats, the regime has made it clear that the relief generational in the party does not mean a political change in the country. That is why the call of the communists to continue, although without Castros as guides, with the same formula to keep the status quo of the nation they want.
The call for life to remain the same in Cuba despite the fact that the reality of the island demands an urgent turn of the wheel, is one more example that Cubans are helpless. The vaunted continuity is, without a doubt, only for those who are seated in power or those who benefit from it, who are, in short, those who do not have to come up with a plate of food every day, find something to wash themselves with, with what to medicate or sit in a dungeon for promulgating an ideology contrary to that of the government or claiming the most basic citizen rights.
It is not a paradox that the congress, where the future of the nation is being considered, is held behind closed doors and that the news that we know is only what the regime wants. That it is so, it makes all the sense in the world, it could not be otherwise, because, in the end, the regime always acts and makes its decisions in disregard of the citizens, which is the way it has found over the years to perpetuate itself.
Although they turn their backs on the people at the Palacio de las Convenciones, the true balance of what happens there is in the streets, where the impulse of the internet in recent years has made political dissidence grow rapidly and, where with a unusual frequency, scenes of protests are taking place that speak of a social push for a new Cuba. At this very moment, to avoid demonstrations against the communist meeting or any other type of activity that sounds like that to the regime, State Security has besieged independent journalists, protest artists, civil society activists and opponents, who have been warned to imprison in case of trying to set foot outside their homes during any of the four days of the congress, as has already happened to some.
This “continuity” that is proposed from power for the next five years in Cuba, means that the island will continue to be, at least in the short term, a state where the fundamental rights of citizens are trampled on, the reproduction of the logic used during the last six decades where a handful of people, the communist leadership, have arbitrarily decided the fate of a country.
#Life #Cuba #Castros