IN ONE OF THOSE endless debates where we try to outline how we might exit from the current situation, some colleagues were discussing the possible scenarios, the innumerable variants of each one, and the final outcomes of the hypothesis considered.
But first there was some light-hearted speculation about the presumed decency of our leaders who, in a demonstration of their goodwill, will recognize their failure and call for a dialog among all Cubans to re-found the Nation. This forecast was restated, with the decency converted into pragmatism and the goodwill reduced to their desire to remain in power, leading to the usual introduction of cosmetic changes devoid of self-criticism and political commitment.
Shuffle all the cards. Then arose the variant of a social explosion, with its undesirable share of bloody revenge. And, bordering on insolence, we considered the possibility of a coup d’etat, including the surprised televised announcement: “We, the National Salvation Junta…” And not to leave anything out, we contemplated the worst outcome of all: foreign intervention and its traumatic aftermath.
Someone who had been silent throughout the whole discussion, said that we had forgotten a hypothesis — the most uncertain, surely — and almost apologetically enunciated it in the form of a long rhetorical question:
…And what if our current leaders, taking advantage of the Marxist laws of economics, manage to stabilize the production of food to the point where the needs of the population are satisfied. And, applying the formulas of centralized planning, resolve the problems of housing, transport, energy generation and distribution, and the fair and equitable distribution of appliances. And if, rigorously applying exigencies and controls, they remove the cancer of corruption and follow up with actions to eliminate its causes. And if, with strict adherence to the ideological canons, they manage to banish the false values prevalent among today’s young people, and inculcate the love of work, stoicism and spirit of solidarity that are typical of the New Man. And if, taking into consideration the uniqueness of Cubans, they are able to actually build socialism, so far unknown by any other society, where work is a pleasure, where culture flourishes in the fertile ground of freedom, where sport is practiced more for the health of the body than from the ambition to win medals, and recreation ceases to seem like a vice and vulgarity. And if we finally realize Utopia, in order to bring prosperity and human fulfillment to all Cubans…
We didn’t know whether it was a joke or a provocation, until the author of the stirring conjecture, in a tone half ironic half scientific, finished his contribution with this sentence: We cannot forget this hypothesis, because just by mentioning it we come to realize its unviability, which forces us to find other alternatives.
November 14, 2010