Lifted Prohibitions and Freedom / Regina Coyula

I was talking with a neighbor in his thirties or forties, who confessed to me with relief that, “Raul’s regime has improved the conditions of life, given us some oxygen, because the brother had suffocated us.”

I smiled before throwing a bucket of skepticism on his head. “Yes, Raul is lifting the prohibitions on a lot of absurdities his brother introduced; but this hasn’t improved the economic base, nor improved the lack of individual freedoms.

“You’re always criticizing! Do you deny that we are better off? And now we don’t depend on the Americans or the Russians. For the first time we are free.”

“Freedom is not synonymous with sovereignty. Why do you think they made these openings?”

My neighbor just opened his eyes and shrugged his shoulders.

“Governability, chico, governability. It is the only reason for these changes.”

“What freedom are you talking to me about? Now I can open a little business, quit the Party and the Union, be my own boss, make my own rules. This makes me free.”

“Sure, if you want a freedom like this,” I said, my thumb and forefinger nearly touching. “You’re the ideal for the future for our society. I congratulate you.”

I changed the subject. The guy was left half content between my congratulations and the plans concocted in his mind. He understood nothing.

December 12 2011