The Options Are Not Just Two / Fernando Dámaso

Photo: Rebeca

Some political leaders, and those who only know how to repeat what they say, suggest that Cuban only has two options if it wants to survive: maintain the current system, or return to the year 1958.

In the first place, no one is obliged to live in a failed system, which for more than fifty years has demonstrated in ineffectiveness and inefficiency, and has destroyed the accumulated moral and material wealth of the Nation. The new generations do not have to bear the errors, blunders and mistakes of the past.

In the second place, to go back to the year 1958 is impossible, because no one returns to the past: it happened and is left to history, but it cannot become the present, much less the future. So far, the time machine hasn’t been invented. Furthermore, only a madman would think of proposing a return to the past: what is proposed to step forward and insert ourselves into the current world, with its advantages and disadvantages, leaving behind years of stagnation and backwardness. Although there are those who believe it did, the world did not stop in 1958.

To present only two possibilities, as if everything were black or white, without nuances and without evolution, in a profoundly dogmatic and conservative approach, whose only objective seems to be to preserve the power of those who hold it, moving in concentric circles within the established model, but without leaving a trace, despite its so-called “update.” The tepid measures undertaken in the economic environment respond to this: small, well-controlled spaces in the sector of services, more by necessity than conviction.

It’s a joke for them to call themselves revolutionary, for having been a part of the Revolution, even though for a long time now Revolution and Revolutionary have ceased to be mutually complementary: the Revolution, despite the discourse, has been stopped, bureaucratized, objectified, transformed itself into an involution, and what at first might have been novel and attractive, ceased to be so.

To be revolutionary has always been to hold with the new, for a change for the better, for development and getting ahead in the world. These conservatives today, who seek to maintain their label as revolutionaries, repeating old slogans and singing the Internationale, as if it were a title of nobility acquired for life, fall farther behind every day, and their place is taken by new generations of revolutionaries (in the true sense of the word, without ideological simplifications), as has happened throughout history.

Today, those who think differently, those who propose new options of development, those who confront the immobility and dogmatism, are the true revolutionaries.

For over half a century, the country has always survived depending on someone: first it was the Soviet Union and the also extinct socialist camp, and now it is Chavez’s Venezuela, but as history follows its own course, beyond the desire of human beings, the day came when the Soviet and Socialist Bloc subsidies disappeared, and today Venezuela seems to be staggering.

The time may be ripe for the emergence on the political scene of the new revolutionaries, once and for all, to truly be done with dependencies, and to start trying to stand on our own. To do so, not surprisingly, the measures taken should be limited to others: deeper and more comprehensive. Only by fully liberating the productive forces and the citizens’ initiative, can the country begin to emerge from the abyss in which it is and start down the path of development and progress which so far has been denied it.

May 9 2012