14ymedio, Yunior García Aguilera, Madrid, January 3, 2023 — Almost everyone has heard of the Golden Raspberry Awards, popularly known as the Razzies or the anti-Oscars, where the worst films and performances of the year are recognized. The video presented by Díaz-Canel to welcome 2023 could very well sweep those awards, if they were to consider it.
With violins in the background, the camera begins its journey revealing the Cuban flag behind some support columns. And there, in front of the sequestered plaza of a silent Martí, appears the divo of Placetas (not to be confused with Eduardo Antonio). A gentle tilt-up shows us the model’s shoes and suit, ending up in an extreme close-up, with more filters than Instagram.
The hand-picked president of Cuba has not learned (and will not learn) to read the teleprompter with ease. His gestures remind us of elementary school mornings, where some ‘pioneer’ recited verses without having the slightest control over the movement of his or her hands. The president’s makeup artists went above and beyond in their efforts to make him look like the late Walter Mercado, the famous Univision astrologer. And the worst thing, after the completely empty speech, was hearing a “venga la esperanza” [hope, come] said in such an inorganic way, that Corina Mestre herself, an official Politburo hack, must flatly deny having advised him.
We already know that the electric engineer (now also a doctor in who knows what subject) does not possess the characteristics for oratory. Although, to be honest, he has not shown to have the slightest idea about communication, economics, public administration, international law or diplomacy either. His very low level of English made him look ridiculous on his recent tour of the Caribbean. And it must be recognized that he has made a great effort to differentiate himself from Fidel Castro, who neither sang nor danced, but Miguelito did not hit a note either.
The whole world has recognized Vladimir Putin as the worst figure of the year. And the Cuban dictator went to Moscow a few months ago to lick the boots of the new Stalin. All of Europe took note of the meeting and very soon the smiling photo will begin to take its toll on the island’s regime. Díaz-Canel returned to Cuba from that trip with little more than a cold and new debts that he will not be able to repay.
Upon stepping on national soil, Cubans welcomed him with an historical level of abstention in municipal elections, demonstrating that fewer and fewer are pretending to believe in the dictatorship’s electoral farce. Now the National Electoral Council is in a rush, wondering what tricks they can come up with to avoid another disaster on March 26, 2023, when the time comes to unanimously renew Parliament. Math never falters. Considering Cubans’ behavior at the polls during the last electoral process , only a gigantic fraud would prevent a new record of abstention.
For the New Year’s video, Díaz-Canel donned a white jacket, perhaps to be in tune with the Letter of the Year, during which, according to the Ifá priests, Obatalá will be the ruling deity. Díaz-Canel forgets that on November 15, 2021, many Cubans were violently repressed for dressing in that color. He forgets that 2022 has been a terribly dark year, marked not only by the worst revolutionary blackouts, but also by perennial shortages, protests, persecution, exiles, banishment, and death.
In May we suffered the explosion of the Saratoga hotel, with a total of 47 fatalities. In August we dressed in mourning once again following the fire at the Supertanker Base in Matanzas, where 17 people lost their lives. And in October the disastrous history of the tugboat 13 de Marzo was repeated when 7 Cubans, including a two-year-old girl, lost their lives after the sinking of a boat off the coast of Bahía Honda.
For Díaz-Canel 2023 does not bode well, with the exception of “creative resistance”, a synonym for more misery, sacrifices and waiting. His only success has been to stay in power. However, in a country where people cannot freely elect their representatives, where a single party has a monopoly on weapons, where the courts are obedient inquisitors, that “success” is nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory.
The little dictator has already more than earned the rejection of the vast majority, though we do not have democratic and peaceful means to remove him from power. For his terrible performance, both in front of and behind the cameras, Díaz-Canel deserves more than a raspberry.
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