14ymedio, Elías Amor Bravo, Valencia, Spain, October, 1, 2022 — Reaching the limit and wanting to go further, for the sole vice of maintaining power. At any price. This is the selfish and suicidal lesson the communist regime wants to teach Cubans, so that tomorrow, the whole world will remember the tragic final venture (which in fact, is already here) of the 63 years of communist dictatorship.
The propaganda, repression, juggling games, measures to patch up economic functioning are no longer valid. The communists spoke of a foreign exchange system and have taken the peso to an unprecedented exchange rate of 195 to the dollar. Similarly, they demanded the adoption of an Ordering Task* that, poorly planned, arrived at the worst time, causing a serious collapse of the precarious internal and external balances.
They also talked about ’measures’, specifically, 69 measures for the agricultural sector and 95 measures for sugar, and the results are yet to be seen. They announced, with much fanfare, the launch of the MSMEs [small and medium size businesses] and non-agricultural cooperatives, as the beginning of a private business model, but which was later seen as a maneuver to convert the discontented self-employed workers into MSMEs, thus reinforcing control and intervention over them. Expenditures have risen to unacceptable limits at a time of falling incomes; and the deficit has been financed by monetary expansion without any control by the Central Bank. The balance sheet is certainly disastrous.
Nothing is worth anything anymore. All the partial attempts to get out of the vicious cycle have ended in absolute failure and Cubans suffer and, unlike times past, launch themselves into massive protests throughout the country. The information that arrives from the Island shows that people have taken to the streets, without fear, willing to lead their future, to clear from the political scene a regime that has come to an end and is paralyzed.
The sequence of events is clear. Cubans suffered an island-wide blackout, difficult to explain, when Hurricane Ian crossed the island at the western end. Inhabitants of the east, who did not feel the winds or the rain, must resign themselves to a lack of electricity supply that had already been affecting the entire country. There is no valid justification from the Union Electric. The arguments of managers on television are hesitant, doubtful, excessively technical, and difficult to understand by a population that has said enough is enough. It is the end, we may not see it clearly, but the nightmare comes to an end.
Díaz-Canel rushed to appear in Pinar del Río dressed in military garb and wearing a raincoat valued at 300 or 400 dollars, which many Cubans would like to have. And there, with the propaganda always attentive, he confirmed to the world what is already known. Unlike other less developed countries, the regime lacks emergency intervention mechanisms to coordinate and launch the processes to repair damages and return to normal life. You have to turn to the neighbors, the neighborhoods and the “communals” of doubtful interpretation. Incredible that, in a Marxist and Leninist state of the Caribbean, in any country, they have to improvise on the fly every time a cyclone hits.
It is the end. In the form of a tragedy in several acts, which can only end in one way: returning power and sovereignty to the Cuban people so that, exercising plural democracy, the course of the nation can be put back on course. The cyclone has come to accelerate the pace of transformation and, above all, to reveal the weakness and serious shortcomings of the political model devised by Fidel Castro 63 years ago. The end is near. With new leaders who know how to interpret the demands of the people and offer solutions to them, who can allocate resources to what is truly productive and beneficial for the people, and not for a particular party or ideology.
The economy can’t take anymore. Neither can Cuban society. We are witnessing a process of widespread loss of confidence in the national currency, of dissatisfaction with the services received from the State, which are paid and paid well, with the work of all Cubans. There is no longer a strategy, nor a vision, much less, a mission that justifies maintaining the status quo. The changes the nation needs do not allow for delay.
In reality, it could all be very easy. The communists should step aside and hand over power, calling free and democratic elections that promote a new National Assembly with constituent capacity and that will lead reforms. Decisions of this caliber can no longer wait, because the Cuban people can no longer bear it. The communists could try to save themselves, but with each passing minute, that horizon appears darker and more complex. It’s time to reset the button and restart. Cuba has already done it in the past and can do it again now.
*Translator’s note: *The “Ordering Task” [tarea ordenamiento] is a collection of measures that include eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso (CUP) as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency, which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and a broad range of other measures targeted to different elements of the Cuban economy.
Translated by: Silvia Suárez
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