Home > Miguel Iturria Savón > Controversial Anniversary

Controversial Anniversary

If some astrologer were to predict with certainty the end of the Castro dynasty, I would believe in Astrology. But Cubans’ problems are greater than those who make predictions from the stars, because politics is not a place for prophets, worried about questions closer to gods and humans. The case of Cuba extends too far.

The issue comes to the fore because last week several correspondents accredited in Havana and some independent journalists, commented on the unfulfilled promises of Raúl Castro Ruz, appointed by his brother in July 2006 and ratified as president by the National Assembly on February 24, 2008.

The good faith of the reporters and political scientists who thought the new Castro would air out Cuban society found stubbornness,  delaying tactics to gain time, and the signing of accords with allies like Brazil, China, Spain and Venezuela, whose governments opt to preserve Island tyranny, granting them credits and even serving as their interlocutors on the world scene.

The reality reveals that Cuba is a dead society. Raúl Castro was the number-two man of the regime, serving for 47 years as Minister of the Armed Forces and first Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers as well as serving as the number two of the Communist Party and the being the number one general. How can we except change from a character with such credentials?

The reforms were cosmetic, reduced to grants of unproductive land, the sale of computers and mobile phones and the granting of permission for workers to express the problems that affect their performance. After calculating the difficulties, the president made promises but limited himself to replacing the younger leadership with the nomenklatura.

Two years after forging expectations, what prevails is silence and immobility. The institutions are the same, living conditions increasingly deteriorate, and repression of the alternative civil society continues. From the Palace they sell the shield of a besieged nation and dynamite any possible openings for democracy. Resignation, boredom and despair hang over the island society, still tied to the centralized state economy now dependent on the Venezuelan president, partner of the totalitarian Castros.

Raúl Castro is nothing more than a clone, the automatic pilot who saves the equilibrium of the ship created by his brother. The counterpart of his ineffective management lies in the corruption rampant in the subsistence economy. It would be vain to expect reforms from this character, whose second term coincides with the death of the prisoner of Conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who sacrificed his life through a hunger strike in protest of the inhumane conditions of incarceration.

The intolerance and inability to foster change that the country needs turns the younger of the Castros into an echo of his predecessor, that shadow dying in a wheelchair, like a ghost who shocks and lacerates the amorphous body of a nation.

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