Brain Drains? / Rebeca Monzo

"Now We Are Going to Construct Socialism!"

I still haven’t gotten over my amazement upon hearing, on the short-wave radio, of course, the unbelievable declarations that would be made by the Guru of my little planet to a North American journalist: “The Cuban model can’t be exported, because it hasn’t worked even in Cuba.”

Of course, whoever doesn’t have a short-wave radio here, has neither heard nor possibly will hear about this, since the daily papers haven’t published such statements up until now. These took me back to those statements of December 27, 1986, when this very same figure said: “Now we’re really going to build socialism!”

At that moment, many well-intentioned citizens asked themselves: ‘So, what were we doing until now?’

I think that it shows a great lack of respect, or sensitivity, to make such assertions. If something isn’t working and is detrimental to no more and no less than 11 million people, not counting the almost 3 million in the diaspora, how is it possible that it’s insisted upon? What consolation can be given to those millions who’ve lost relatives, because they’ve died trying to cross the sea, or who’ve been forced by these very measures (which don’t work) to leave the country, leaving behind elderly parents and even children, in search of freedom and better opportunities? And what can be said of those of us who, for a wide range of reasons, haven’t wanted to leave the country and have lost our youth waiting for change? I believe they’ve had 51 years to prove that the model wasn’t working, so, why insist on keeping it going at all costs?

Translated by: Yoyi el Monaguillo

September 10, 2010