14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Desde Aqui, Havana, 4 July 2019 — The most recent political marketing discovery launched by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel is summarized in his call to “Think like a country.”
The call comes in the midst of a plan to increase wages “in the budgeted area of the state sector” and aims to mobilize an awareness among different economic actors to, on the one hand, avoid an indiscriminate rise in prices and, on the other, to increase the diversity and quantity of goods and services.
As Fidel Castro’s successor and scion, Díaz-Canel seems to be inspired by the Maximum Leader’s idealist postulate that it was correct to create wealth with conscience and not vice versa, as proposed by the materialist rules of orthodox Marxism.
The motto to think like a country would be acceptable if those who govern stop thinking like a party. Or even better if those who govern will realize that party and country are not synonymous.
One can only think like a country when the thought in question is the result of a national consensus where partisan interests are relegated in the interest of prioritizing the most shared interests of the nation, the population, the citizenship, whichever you prefer. If the Revolution — and socialism — is invoked as a condition, Fidel Castro’s legacy is no longer thinking like a country, but as a party.
To determine what is appropriate for the country in the short and long term, we have to listen to everyone, but there is no point in being willing to listen when those who express different ideas are repressed, when government media attack and discredit those who depart from the official thinking.
As long as the national dissenter continues to be identified with the foreign enemy, thinking like a country will only be an empty slogan. This country will arrive late to the fourth industrial revolution if it remains committed to economic self-sufficiency; it will compromise its future if it keeps the productive forces of the non-state sector chained; it will impoverish its intellectual creation and its spiritual production if the cultural institutions do not abandon their inclination to gag all who disagree with them.
This country, diverse, plural, with genes of modernity and propensity to connect with the rest of the world, can expand an advanced, humanistic and innovative thinking, a generator of solutions. All that is required is to stop criminalizing those who think differently.
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