Dialogue or Monologue / Fernando Damaso

Our authorities have always been preoccupied with extolling the originality of anything coming out of Cuba. Our freedoms, socialism, democracy, human rights, political and economic system, electoral process, governmental bodies, political and grass-roots organizations, and everything else are unique and unlike anything comparable in the rest of the world. Furthermore, it is argued — with scant modesty — that they are the best and most perfect. What is striking is that this unhealthy addiction to being different applies only to the outside world. Differences within the country, among Cubans themselves, are not acceptable.

Dictating how things are to be done has become a daily and unhealthy practice over the years, especially when done by those have held and still hold absolute power. We have seen the imposition of a political, economic and social system, one-party rule, a socialist Constitution, basic laws, organizations and associations, educational, cultural, and moral standards, and many other things that should have involved consultation with citizens and should have been freely approved or rejected by them.

The disastrous results are plain to see. The country has regressed as never before in its  history, including even during the most critical times.

Even today, in spite of declarations to the contrary, we continue seeing efforts to dictate.

Wouldn’t it be more intelligent to have a dialogue and look for consensus?

When I suggest dialogue, I do not mean conversations between people who think alike, which is what we have now, but between those with differing opinions. The results would undoubtedly be better. An exchange of views in a respectful and constructive climate might yield wonderful solutions. Why not try it? We stand to lose nothing more than we have already lost from the now obsolete monologue.

1 April 2015