Plaza Under Siege / Fernando Dámaso

Photo: Rebeca

Our government media is constantly repeating political slogans of various kinds, obsolete, recycled and new. The one that says “Cuba is a plaza under siege” seems to be one of the most prominent right now. I agree with it: Cuba is a plaza under siege by dogmatism, inability, schematism, intolerance, incoherence, lack of moral values, hopelessness, irresponsibility, fear voluntarism and other negative phenomena. The siege has been much longer than that of Troy, sung by Homer in the Iliad, and how terrible is it that it is not under siege by any external force, but rather by an internal one. This is the great paradox.

Every so often a group of economists and statisticians committed to the model, in support of the slogan, dedicate a part of their precious time (which they seem to have in abundance), to quantifying the economic losses and other things that the embargo (which they call the blockade) by the U.S. government has caused Cuba.

The figures they publish are astronomical: billions of dollars. In them they include all the vents of a half century, from natural phenomenon (hurricanes, rains, droughts, tornadoes, etc.), and the health calamities (epidemics and pandemics), as well as the economic ones (harvests and other failed plans), as well as the problems in transport, electrical generation, social services, access to the Internet and more.

The embargo has become a giant tub where they wash all their dirty laundry, avoiding historical responsibility. These figures, which deceive and confuse only those who enjoy living deceived and confused, also set off great hilarity, given their childish and primitive conception.

They are palpable proof that the totalitarian models always try to find someone responsible for their missteps or, as we say in good Cuban: a blackbird to bear the blame (that is, a scapegoat), though in this case it is an eagle.

I once thought that the updating of the model would include abandoning this absurd practice, but it seems I was wrong: it is an important part of the model and they can’t do away with it for fear of discovering themselves to be completely naked.

July 5 2012