The Year That’s Gone and the One That’s Coming / Fernando Damaso #Cuba

Photo: Peter Deel

The officially designated “Year 54 of the Revolution” has come to an end. No one can deny that in 2012 some changes were made to the comatose Cuban “model,” but it is true that the majority amounted to the legalization of absurd, long-standing prohibitions, or in other cases to simple measures that were only skin-deep and without much depth. These changes have had no affect on the economic structure, which is concentrated mainly in the service sector rather than in industrial and agricultural production where, at least rhetorically, there is a continued preference for the “great socialist enterprise,” albeit with some tweaks and adjustments. Although too slow, things are, nevertheless, starting to move.

Basic logic and the need to preserve the “model” mean that there will have to be further changes made in 2013. Until now, though, they have been focused solely on the economy since the subject of political and social change remains taboo. Although they have so far been minimal, economic changes have led to the realization other changes will, nevertheless, have to be carried out, even though there is no will to do so. Otherwise, we arrive at dead-end. Although it has been tried, economic issues cannot be separated from political and social issues. They mutually impact each other.

Whatever happens, regardless of what the authorities do, will more than anything be the result of citizen pressure and attitudes.

January 4 2013