My greetings to all forum members. Late as usual. Collegial leadership in the government has not existed. Fidel, a man of great physical and intellectual capacity, has been the decision maker on issues as dissimilar and unrelated as the functions of a head of state and the selection of school uniforms, the construction of housing and the cross breeding of cows. The oldest among us remember these and other matters which his intervention, not that of specialists, determined the paths that would be followed.
There is a famous anecdote about the Minister of Sugar warning him in advance of the impossibility of completing a ten million ton sugar harvest, which resulted in his replacement. Fidel has been so pervasive a force that his leaving the political stage will imply a change in the national live.
I speak of the future, because although at the beginning of his illness he delegated his functions to several people, with his recuperation, and despite they fact that his Reflections do now address national problems, internally he must continue deciding on topics that interest him.
His brother does not exercise such power of decision and ascendancy over the masses (which is better). For my part, I am very concerned about what will happen in Cuba; the people for the most part largely complied with Fidel’s will because of his personal charisma, and allowed him to drive them where he would, in Cuba we have had Fidelism as a cult of personality accentuated with the years.
Whatever happens, it will be different. In that sense, I don’t know how the Party Congress will be handled, although it was clarified that the only topic on the agenda will be the economy, and in practice, almost all the measures proposed in the Party Guidelines have already been implemented.
For the forum member Josep Calvet: The Chinese emigrated to Cuba in the first half of the last century, keeping their traditions very alive and, in almost all cities where they settled, having their own neighborhood with their businesses, theaters, etc. There was the newspaper you mention (Wah-man-sion-po). It was very depressing walking through the Chinese neighborhood and all its facilities, until 20 years ago with the help of the Embassy, of families overseas, and the Office of the Historian, the Chinese neighborhood was revitalized, and with it, the Chinese newspaper, a curiosity, because it has been many years since Chinese have emigrated here from China.
March 25 2011
Translator’s note: La Joven Cuba is a website of students at the University of Matanzas and Regina has begun to engage them in conversation through their forum. She also posts her comments there, here.