If We Want Everything To Stay the Same, Everything Must Change

By Jesuhadín Pérez.

Things are going badly for Cuba. People lose freedom while trying to get it, and starve to death when asking for justice. Those in power have no ears to listen to the solutions to people’s problems, solutions that would jeopardize historical powers.

This is the contradiction between form and substance. In other words the dead weight of privileges, against the evolution of society and its citizens.

The presidential chairs get stuck to the posteriors of people who have a very peculiar way of understanding democracy. Democracy is a form of government, not a nobility title. In Cuba the time has arrived to turn the page, to respect its people and the natural processes that shape its history.

The history of humankind is filled with men who muzzled their people to try to stop the natural course of events. The fact that all of them eventually fell is no consolation. Our case makes us feel like being buried alive. A pity. We’ve had ten years since the 21st century started. We should be closer to a perfect government.

Here, everyone wants change, you just need to ask to see for yourself. Everyone shouts it if they have the courage, or if they feel safe in the liberties they have been granted by another country. Absolutely everyone wants change, everyone but those in power.

The privileges of those in power are in danger when we talk of change, that is why their main task is to stop and reverse the process using everything at hand… violence or mediation. What a pity that many new-found mediators give higher priority to compromising and flirting than to mediating! What a pity that they go after institutional interests instead of the well-being of the parties involved in the conflict! Even worst, what a lack of historical conscience among those in power. Do they really believe they will be able to hold the system together using banners and slogans, or letting some steam out whenever it seems on the verge of exploding, just so they can close the steam pipe again a moment later?

Just one thing has saved this country till now, just one thing placates the anger and discontent of the masses: A Change. But not the kind of change that consists in giving away lands overrun with the invasive marabou weed, or turning service industry workers into rent paying employees; no. Cuba needs A Change, a big one. Risky. Compromising. Overarching. Resounding. Something everyone can feel. Something that shakes the whole nation. If this tiny changes are the prelude to something for the good, then they are welcome, but if they are just tactical changes they will perish in less than ninety days, because the expectations of the Cuban people are great, and their needs are even greater.

If the Cuban political class wants to keep things as they are, then it will be necessary that everything, absolutely everything changes.

Jesuhadín Pérez Valdés

Founding member of the editorial board of Convivencia magazine.
He lives in Pinar del Río, Cuba.

Translated by: Xavier Noguer