The Flames Go Out in Matanzas but the Drama Continues in Cuba

In the face of each tragedy, the questions pile up and the detailed results of the investigations are rarely published. (Prensa Latina)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, Generation Y, Havana, 12 August 2022 — The sky has turned blue again over Havana and in the city of Matanzas the flames at the Supertanker Base no longer rise on the horizon. However, the tragedy is still ongoing and the questions we all ask ourselves remain unanswered. Why did the lightning rod system not work? Who ordered taking inexperienced young people from the Military Service to try to stop the flames? What is the magnitude of the environmental disaster that this incident has left?

In the face of each tragedy, the questions pile up and the detailed results of the investigations are rarely published. With the plane crash that occurred in May 2018, barely any generalities were offered about its cause and we had to settle for a vague official statement that placed responsibility for the accident on the crew. We are still waiting for the report from the experts on the explosion at the Saratoga hotel from more than three months ago, nor is there any realistic analysis of how many lives were lost on this island for not accepting, at the worst moment of the pandemic, the covid-19 vaccines from the Covax fund.

The regime’s lack of transparency is matched only by its ineptitude. The mix of secrecy and inefficiency in this system is proving deadly for Cubans. The violation of the minimum security protocols, the triumphalism that makes one believe that it is possible to achieve certain goals when the minimum conditions to do so do not exist, and the stubbornness of carrying out projects “at whatever price is necessary” take lives every day in this country. Lives for which no one is responsible because the impunity of those responsible for ending them is absolute.

Unfortunately, this type of disaster will become increasingly common in Cuba, because the inefficient and centralized model imposed six decades ago cannot properly manage the challenges posed by our reality. They make up the figures, tidy up the press headlines, inflate productivity reports, skip security measures to shorten the time to undertake a work, blame third parties for their bungling, and shield themselves in their power so as not to pay for so many catastrophes they themselves provoke with their dismal performance.

It’s not just about reinforcing infrastructure, improving protection against lightning strikes, better handling cargo in an aircraft hold, or thoroughly checking a hotel’s gas supply line. The most important thing to preserve our lives is to eliminate this system as soon as possible and get so many incapable and untouchable leaders out of their seats.

It was not a lightning strike that caused the Matanzas disaster, but rather the lethal essence of this broken and cruel system.

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