More Lists, Fewer Lists / Fernando Dámaso

I have carefully read each one of the approved guidelines in the recently completed Sixth Party Congress. They are the closest thing to a simple list of general intent, some questionable for their weight of discrimination against nationals, to be achieved in a period that is neither immediate or near, but rather distant. Furthermore, being only guidelines, specific plans will be needed for their practical realization, including projects, financing, power and methods to implement them, deadlines, and so on. Such a huge amount of resources and labor that I doubt the Cuban government is in a condition to take them on and ever less to to bring them to fruition.

The general crisis in which we find ourselves, and it gets worse with each passing month, needs more than general intentions to resolve. Concrete measures are imposed in the short term, to untie the multiple knots created over the years. This is what has been raised for some time by the citizens and not solutions, which extend into the indefinite future. Increase, achieve, manage, transform, duplicate, etc., are verbs used for far too long: few people really believe in them.

Nobody has forgotten the wonderful plans to solve problems, applied for more than half a century without real results. Among those fallen by the wayside are the Cordon of Havana, which liquidated the fruit trees and did not produce a single grain of coffee, the Pangola, to feed a cattle that was never developed, the Ten Million Ton Harvest, which dealt a mortal blow to sugar production, the Dairy, which left us without milk, the Rice, did not produce rice, Turquino, which did not solve the problem of coffee either, Nutrition, which left us without food, and so on. To return to the same with other named projects does not update any economic model.

Maybe some optimists think that with this list we are already on our way to emerging from the crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is nothing more than pure economic theory and social policy, something like a collection in a single document of the texts of the many manuals that proliferated in the former Soviet era, and that were quite dogmatically applied in most areas of national life. Like a repeat of something already known, now when someone makes or builds something, it is in compliance with the guidelines. A few years ago, it was part of the Battle of Ideas. Simply more of the same.

Facing a crisis laid down over fifty years, in which responsibility is not external, is not an easy task for any president, particularly if political and ideological reasons prevail over economic ones. Even more so when the actual time available for its implementation is limited. I do not understand why things change overnight, turning them upside down in one fell swoop, without entrusting them to God or the Devil, to be restored to their proper position (feet down), and why they need so many studies, analysis, meetings, discussions, approvals and time. It’s good to worry about not making a mistake, something not done before, but the nation needs profound and immediate changes that end the complete paralysis of free the productive forces, allowing their rapid development. Only then, with the participation of all citizens, without exception, will we overcome the crisis.

May 26 2011