A Complex Scenario / Fernando Damaso #Cuba

Photo: Peter Deel

When power has been exercised unilaterally in a country by one person for too long—applying formulas capriciously by using political and state institutions and organizations, as well as others created specifically to implement them—it becomes very difficult for whoever replaces him to effect profound and substantial change, regardless of whether or not there is the will to carry it out. Unfortunately, this is the situation in which Cuba currently finds itself.

To systematically dismantle a system that, in spite of its innumerable and repeated promises, has not only been unable in more than fifty years to resolve the economic, political and social problems, but has aggravated them while creating new ones, is a very complex task. Adding to the difficulty is the intention to carry out this process without affecting the already very diminished reputation of the former leader. Complicating things further is the fact that the person carrying out this task is someone intimately linked to his predecessor by familial bonds as well as by shared responsibilities, and whose efforts are either supported or questioned within his own inner circle.

Given this complex scenario, it is understandable that the economic measures, which have thus far been approved, are so shallow and that their implementation so slow. The stated rationale for these measures also ignores the need for social and political changes by refusing to even mention them. Even if we assume there is a desire to “update the model,” this will not solve the problem since it is precisely the “model” itself that is not working. Dedicating a large amount of the time remaining to drafting a framework of laws, rules, regulations and limitations with the goal of salvaging it can only lead to the most abject failure.

No one will deny that a country needs laws and regulations to assure organized development and harmony among its citizens, but that is one thing and this is another. Laws which are approved and applied like a straight jacket to prop up something that is being maintained by “miraculous stasis,” will not satisfy people’s expectations. It seems that this is what is happening in our country when what it is really needed is for change to be deepened, broadened and accelerated.

Fernando Damaso

December 26 2012