Machado’s Young People / Somos+, Javier Cabrera

Machado Ventura

Somos+, 13 July 2105 — One of the most important qualities of a politician is credibility. I am one of those who believe that credibility must be earned — and must not be lost, because sometimes it cannot be recovered. The obligatory homage to “the caste” has been the tool used to obviate the need for credibility in Cuba, and processes have been created to redress its loss: “rectification of errors,” “update of the economic model,” and even “voting for everything.”

This is why it is not strange that the octogenarian Machado Ventura addressed us, the young people of Cuba, telling us what we should do, think or feel. Those who in the old days were dazzled by promises of faraway lands and indeed enjoyed (and still enjoy) privileges, today demand that we not be dazzled by pretty things — basically because many of these things might turn out to be good, and might sentence them to a forced retirement. And it is there that they leave us their legacy: Remember the confrontation! A war cry against the rapprochement, against the aim of those models that have encouraged it on both sides.

Finally, Machado Ventura justifies the lack of Internet access because of cost, despite us knowing that the current infrastructure is still not even at half its capacity. And he reveals to us the result of the negotiations with the American companies: do not give us free Internet, because we cannot control it. In its place, as a consolation prize, we will have “the prosperous and sustainable socialism that we are now contemplating.”

Confrontation, preservation of the status quo, adoption of technological ignorance, and off-line socialism: these are the young people that Machado wants.

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison