14ymedio, also , Caracas, 7 January 2016 — With the fallacy of development of a “mutually advantageous” cooperation that Raul Castro is still talking about, while his country comes apart at high speed, Communist Cuba got our revolutionary leaders to support the project that consists of awarding the Caribbean regime a network of subsidies of every kind that serve nothing more than to provide oxygen to the continental leaders in repression and totalitarianism. Cuba never had the intention, throughout the years of Chavismo, of using the facilities provided by its generous ally to strengthen its economy, much less to provide a solid foundation for development for the years to come.
On the contrary, this regimen of benefits is what has served to starve the population, to make the island economy dependent on the Venezuelan perks and, in recent years, to flirt with the Obama administration in order to prevent, through a rapprochement, the disaster that is already flagrantly on display.
Raul Castro just announced dramatic performance numbers for the current economy and hypocritically attributed 2015’s sagging GDP to the international crisis, the slowdown in international consumption – also to blame for the lower sugar exports – and, finally, for the problems of its great benefactor, the revolutionary Venezuelan regime that is a victim of the empire’s economic war led by Cuba’s new ally, the American government.
The reality is that without Venezuela Cuba would not have survived and Cubans would have known hours of unimaginable hardship, as they will face in the months ahead. The Caribbean brothers are at present in a situation similar to what they already had go through when they were forced to do without the special relationship also offered to them by the Soviet Union.
There has been no revision of the hunger-inducing model that Cuba has embraced for half a century and that managed to replicate metastatically on revolutionary ground. While the perverse and unequal relationship with Venezuela was lubricated, they never used the funds to implement a model that could come to the rescue of the new generations. The panorama is getting frightening. Those who study it assure us that in coming years the reduction in annual growth will be on the order of 4% to 7%.
The Cuban situation is dramatic now that they won’t be able to count on Venezuela and have no other saviors to rescue them. Some 45% of Cuban exports went to Venezuela through exotic forms and corrupt arrangements. Most of the foreign exchange earnings and energy came from Venezuelan soil.
A recapitulation is possible but it’s late for Cuba. Venezuela, which is in a similar situation having squandered the oil boom years when it could have organized a strong and healthy economy, is confronting an immensely complicated situation. But while it still has the ammunition to reinvent itself, Cuba has none left.
Ordinary Cubans have understood all this and the migration north has been increased by lack of confidence in the future and boredom, like that faced by Venezuelans today. Today there is no lifeline. China openly looks the other way, and while the relationship with the United States hasn’t hardened, foreign capital will not risk getting to close to the Caribbean beaches.
There is no possible retreat that isn’t ordered internally, which means accepting this resounding failure that has cost them their blood and tears.
* Editorial Note: Beatriz de Majo is a columnist for the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional.