Bad Handwriting in La Joven Cuba (21) / Regina Coyula

For Roberto Pérez for his Reflections…

The core of Engels, is fulfilled to the letter in Cuba. Cubans consume the better part of their time running after transport, standing in line for food, dreaming of a little room to live in together as a couple. It’s the same reality for an engineer as for a farmworker. After many years of “war” (known as the blockade) our “soldiers” remain under the same fire. I remember that in the economic policy guidelines it states that we will move forward and resolve many problems, but the blockade is not mentioned.

Socialism is the dialectical transformation of society. The subtitle calls attention precisely to one of the major defects of Cuban society: immobility. Designers of our society should not be so worried about semantics as about the substance. Man is not interested in which system he lives under, but in how he lives within the system. A social economic formation is not intrinsically good, the social being has to enjoy his prosperity, not read about it in the press.

They told us we were building socialism, but it is difficult to distinguish, in our country, the administrative structures that confirm that assertion. If we had developed a revolutionary society with a self-managed economy, decentralized, with social ownership rather than state, and with civil liberties, the embargo would be there — or not — but our life would revolve around it.

I agree with the need for citizens to express their concerns, to contribute ideas,but I was always struck by the phrase promoting debate; debate should be integral to society and should be spontaneous where needed. You will agree with me that it is necessary to analyze the lack of freedom and spontaneity that characterizes most Cuban debates, so organized, so predictable, so unanimous.

We have done much harm as a nation with this permanent perception of threat they’ve instilled in us. Patriotism is not always presenting the U.S. government as being overtly and covertly responsible for all of our ills. Today as never before we see disappointment, young people dusting off old papers to reveal a Spanish grandfather [making them eligible for Spanish citizenship]; the U.S. visa lottery has a record high number of Cuban applicants. How do you explain that in young people who know only free education and free health care and who were educated in the socialist doctrine?

Everything that points to work as a struggle against domestic problems is a product of a centralized and willful misdirection. Although there are perceived changes in that sense, society is exhausted and works by inertia, and in addition has never discarded the internal struggles of those in power; some wanting to maintain the immobility and others wanting to open spaces. Some time ago, to counter the refrain “There is strength in union,” I said that in diversity we will find ourselves. The author of the work has forgotten that children are more like their own time than their parents’.

November 19 2011