Bad Handwriting in La Joven Cuba (12)

Dear Forum participants of La Joven Cuba, dear Osmany, with regards to your disagreement with Eduardo del Llano. I try to go every week to your blog, read the posts, and sometimes I have the impression that we live in different places, so distant are our points of view.

You start with an anecdote of the father of a friend who, from an habitual critic of the government, turned into a satisfied self-employed: How easy it is to resolve his differences! Why didn’t he do it earlier? For someone who has to pay for a license, the salaries and benefits of his employees, and an annual tribute to the treasury (correct theory, I have no doubt), selling large format products in hard currency is just a drop in the bucket.

Clarification, especially for foreign readers: the buying and selling of houses and cars is not permitted until the implementation of the corresponding law, the timing of which has not been announced. The government’s decision to stop laying off people, to me, reflects its ineptitude, first in engendering over-employment, and then by tried to amend it with a major blunder. You haven’t seen anyone complain about potatoes or soap no longer being included in the government rations, but are sure you haven’t seen ANYONE complain about the prices of these products on the open market

I haven’t asked the little old retired man who sells cigarettes at retail at the bus stop, was he protesting loudly, nor the little old retired man who resells newspapers at the door of the bakery, and the shopkeepers who sell those once-regulated product could write the book on the complaints to avoid the catharsis of every housewife who comes with many needs but only ten pesos.

I agree with you about the perniciousness of importing models of democracy. What we do know is that we imported the USSR and Eastern European model of democracy and, though you’re young, you’ve seen the results of such democracy. The students in Chile and Puerto Rico can associate, having virtual spaces like this one as well as Facebook and Twitter, but if they think something falls short or that their demands aren’t being met, they have the ability to strike.

It was (is) very frequent to run into phrases such as: this is not the time; this is not the context; this is giving ammunition to the enemy; that decision is already made; that’s a political decision. It was a subliminal way of making you conclude that you were too stupid or ignorant to understand the dark forces underlying anything you were worried about, of encouraging you to leave the problems in more knowledgeable and capable hands.

Since, in our idyllic society, the independent actions of the working class are not necessary, our press never reflected the tensions of collective labor fed up with being badly led, without getting any response to their opinions from the “correct” places, and having decided to call a strike, in response they get persuasion, division and intimidation.

I want to make an observation. You must have seen the video of what happened at a school in Jaguey Grande*. There I saw policemen dressed like extraterrestrials surrounding the facility. Do you think this expensive anti-riot gear was acquired so as to be available against overwrought Pakistanis?

For a long time I believed we were threatened by an imminent U.S. aggression. You have no idea how manipulated I felt when I heard about the pact between the Soviets and the Americans as part of the October Cuban Missile Crisis Accords. In my humble opinion, a military invasion has not been contemplated by U.S. administrations for several decades, and the idea of the U.S. annexing Cuba is completely outdated.

Don’t think that I woke up one morning with a vision, it was the result of much reading, of breaking down my dogmatic thinking. What I have said in my blog: With the Americans I would like a policy like that I practice with my neighbors: say good morning, ask for help if necessary, help them if they need me, but we each live in our own house. It’s already time to stop inciting this dispute.

And it would be good if La Joven Cuba, a blog devoted especially to young people, would do research and publish a paper on the origin of the Embargo Act, which is so much talked about but the genesis of which is so poorly known.

Excuse the length of this, Osmany, but unlike other commentators who comment several times, my comment is once a week.

*Translator’s Note:
In September, 2010, Pakistani students protesting conditions at the Latin American School of Medicine in Jagüey Grande were confronted by very well-equipped Cuban riot police. A video is here.

August 4 2011

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