January Notes / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, 26 January 2017 — While the Cuban authorities exhaust the citizens by talking about the past and the future, they are worried about the absurd present, which they want to leave as quickly as possible.

Against it conspires the totalitarian regime in the country, and the old age of the majority of its main leaders, clinging to power as if it were a divine gift with an eternal character.

Nearly 58 years of demented experiments and failures, under the banner of a “Biran-style*” tropical socialism, have permeated the personality of Cubans, making them docile and fanatic, applauding those who oppress them and thanking to those responsible for their misfortunes.

It is an unfortunate situation that, when these times are past, it will take time to be overcome. Sometimes it even seems to strike a national cowardice, which limits any action to change it.

Its main manifestation is widespread pessimism, the reacting to tensions through flight, alcoholism, drug addiction, personal violence, antisocial attitudes and disrespect. All this directly attacks the health of society, making it an easy prey to extremisms and dogmatisms of all kinds.

The lack of the components of a civil society, outside the officialdom, such as independent social and political organizations, free unions and legislative and judicial powers, independent of the executive, makes the situation more complex.

*Translator’s note: The Castro brothers were born in the town of Biran in Eastern Cuba.