System Change: The Elephant in the Cuban Parliament

Deputies in Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power, this Wednesday. (Cuba debate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, Generation Y, Havana, 20 July 2023 — They breakdown the data. All negative. The sugar harvest plunges, food production declines and money to import basic products is scarce. Right now, in Cuba’s National Assembly in the Palace of Conventions in Havana, standing in all its immensity between the seats and the raised hands of the parliamentarians, is the elephant of the urgency of a change in the system. Everyone feels its presence and prominence, but no one dares to mention it.

Instead of the courageous gesture of acknowledging that the country took the wrong course six decades ago and that imposing a centralized model led us to the abyss we are now in, the delegates continue to insist on recommending measures, adjustments and more controls to get out of the crisis. But with each intervention and each new figure announced, the X-ray of that terminal patient that is the Cuban economy becomes clearer. It is also becoming clear that the model decreed by the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) leads only to failure and that the authorities do not have the audacity or the capacity to improve our lives.

They spend hours and hours justifying themselves, going to great lengths to explain the evils that the done to them by the climate, by the proximity of their neighbor to the North, or by the international price of wheat flour, but they lack the courage to say what so many of us think: this system must be changed, dismantled and replaced by another that has fewer slogans and more realities. Nothing that is done within the laws and economic postulates of the PCC will be able to stop the nation’s fall into the abysses of misery and the irreversible deterioration of its infrastructure.

The pachyderm stretches, trumpets, shakes its ears among the parliamentarians. Some almost brush his trunk when they ask why, despite the new agricultural guidelines, the rice consumed on Cuban tables comes almost entirely from abroad. The president of the Assembly, Esteban Lazo, clings to the animal’s tail when affirming that “we are already very tired of programs, measures, studies, diagnoses.” However, no one says the “elephant’s” name, all avoid defining as “failure” those decisions that have fed and fattened the huge mammal in the middle of the room.


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