The Paths of the General / Luis Felipe Rojas

This article was written by Luis Felipe Rojas for ‘Diario de Cuba‘.  It has been re-posted on this blog:

In regards to the year which has just begun, it is evident that the directions of the Cuban government are like forked transit lines.  With more desires to give orders to its members than to implement any sort of political economy, on January 28th they will hold the First National Conference of the Communist Party (PCC).

Towards the end of March the General-President will receive the Vatican authorities, rosary and timbrel at hand.  And during the middle of the year he will once again be in the limelight, with our without the fulfillment of promises.  Cuba will once again see how dreams and demands dissipate.

On a tour which was expected to come sooner or later, the Castro leadership has gone up against itself.  Against the inflated staffs, administrative corruption, and economic inefficiency.  The three whips of Cuban society have been exposed in numerous public meetings: the communist congress and the ordinary session of the National Assembly.

We would have to see if the Cuban technocrats are willing to change their mentality and cast away their furies against the same projects as always.  While the historic direction holds tight to the old art of snapping orders and marching, thousands of Cubans try to improve their lives selling what they themselves cultivate, carrying out service jobs or applying their talents to new technologies.

However, enthusiasms aside, the penalization of difference still weighs heavy over the heads of the majority of Cubans, as well as the rake against free association and the establishment of unions, and laws like Social Dangerousness which seem to belong in the Middle Ages.

Without being able to defend their most basic rights, the Cuban citizenry, since the beginning of the millennium, has been trapped in the delicacies of capitalism and civilization which has been placed before them.  They produce foreign currency, which they cannot freely enjoy.  They substitute imports with medical services which they can rarely enjoy and, on top of that, they carry the weight of errors committed by the senile leadership.

The more moderate forces among the rulers (which are not always visible) opt for a change of tactics and for a reasonable strategy which would favor the betterment of the citizen.  A consensus of the majority of workers has demonstrated the weariness produced by slogans and inefficiency of promises.

The criticisms of Raul Castro and the dissidents of the government are going to crash against the accommodated tendency of the bureaucrats.  Attempting to impregnate from stamps of eternal solidarity with Cubans, the maximum leadership deprives them of health services which are obliged to serve their third-world contemporaries.

At this point, many are asking themselves about the relationship between the statistic offered by Cuba of 4.9 children who have died per each thousand born alive, and the fact of not publishing the statistics of the budget cuts in the public health sector.  Will this statistic be upheld despite the cuts?  As for the popular sophism of ‘tossing the house out through the window’, there is also the fact that there are many necessities, due to a weakened system of primary attention.

Upon being asked if he was a militant (of the Communist Party, of course), a well known professor for the University of Oriente responded, “No, I am the culprit”.  The joke has transcended university property and illustrates the disillusion of that ‘minority’ (in the words of Rafael Rojas) which, in regards to political strength, has transmuted to another social ill.

Translated by Raul G.

9 January 2011