Different Disputes / Fernando Damaso

The initiation of changes in the historical dispute between the Cuban government and the different government administrations of the United States that has begun with the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, should address, as has been pointed out by both leaders, other issues that may not be so easy to resolve.

Despite this first step and the others to come influenced from within Cuba, this does not mean that the other important dispute will be solved: that between the Cuban government and its citizens.

This dispute has become more complex because for too many years power has been exercised by only two people, supported by their closest generational followers, who have committed multiple and costly political, economic and social errors, which were never addressed in time and which have affected the entire country, precipitating a too prolonged crisis, due to which they have lost credibility with the citizens.

For some time, despite the fact that the authorities do not want to recognize it and continue to bet on a national unity that we all know to be in form only, a great number of Cubans demand changes, not only economic but also political and social. They demonstrate it with their families, friends and even neighbors, although they still don’t dare to express it out loud.

Those who think that economic reforms will not generate demands for political reforms are mistaken. The Cuban nation needs to renew itself and catch up with the times. Will this be facilitated by the few living representatives of the historic generation in the time they have left to them, or will it be done by representatives of new generations, who still, perhaps, remain unknown to the majority of the people?

On officially letting go of the “external enemy,” the authorities will find it very difficult to continue to use it as a pretext to block the exercise of the individual rights of every citizen. They can continue talking about general rights, as they have done up until now, but they cannot ignore the others. Resolving the external dispute requires them to begin to resolve the internal one.

31 December 2014