Obligation and Demand / Fernando Damaso

Fernando Damaso, 30 May 2018 — In 1944, when Grau assumed the presidency, Cuba was hit by a powerful hurricane. The Cubans saw in the storm the omen of a stormy government. And so it came to pass. Now, when the new president is taking office, the tragedy of the Boeing 737-200 plane in Havana has occurred and the storm “Alberto,” with its intense and prolonged rains, has caused serious floods and destruction in the country. Is it also a bad omen?

When one carefully observes the actions of the Cuban Government, it gives the impression of being a fossilized organism, totally paralyzed, stuck in a previous historical time and incapable of facing the present.

The decisions to try to solve the urgent national problems do not appear anywhere, supposedly because everything is being studied so as not to make mistakes and make new mistakes. An old saying goes, “delay, despair” and, in this case, “the delay” lasts sixty years.

In most countries, power is exercised for periods of four, five or six years and, if re-election is allowed, it can be extended to eight, ten or twelve. During these terms governments must face and try to solve problems.

The Cuban Government, unlike the rest, has settled down to exercise power for dozens of years, and to use all the time necessary for their studies and experiments, without taking into account that every fifteen years a new generation of citizens emerges, is incorporated into the national life, while another disappears. The generations endure and suffer from this state slowness in their relatively short lives.

Today, the problems accumulated over years without solutions, plus new ones, overwhelm Cubans. The accumulated problems are the lack of housing and the poor state of the existing housing, the chaos in transportation of all kinds and the bad state of the roads, the agricultural unproductivity, the livestock crisis, the industrial obsolescence and the lack of investments, the lack of many freedoms, those that are limited by regulations and provisions that restrict them in practice, and the emigration of young people in search of new horizons, among others.

New problems are the deterioration of the health and education services, low salaries and pensions, social indiscipline, generalized violence, public unhealthiness, the loss of moral values, citizens and homelessness, corruption, theft and the lack of management by the public officials in every state apparatus, among others.

Facing this reality can not be delayed by waiting for the arrival of the “Greek calends“: it is an obligation of today and a demand for those who have claimed the right to govern us.