Editorial 35. Sept-Oct-2013
This is not a moment for complaints. This is a moment for proposals. Cuba needs urgent economic, social, political and cultural projects to respond to tomorrow’s challenges.
Cuba also needs its citizens to be able to choose and develop their own life projects here and now. Citizens without life projects are not persons but mass. Citizens without life projects are a nation without a soul. And it doesn’t exist.
The ones who think of Cuba and study it, religious men, educators, journalists, sociologists, politicians, cultural organizers, artists and literary persons, lawyers, economists, enterprising persons, every Cuban, woman or man, has the right and the urgent duty to think, devise, create our future and the future of the Cuban Nation. The question lies in making fewer complaints and more proposals. Here is the challenge.
Fifteen minutes for denouncing.
One of the key ideas sustained and taught at the former Civic and Religious Education Center and now at the Convivencia Project is that Cuba would be better if every hour of the life of its children could be distributed in the following way: 15 minutes to complain and the other 45 minutes to find solutions, to propose future projects, to foresee and create things and bring solid foundations of thought, mystique and views for the future of our Nation.
So many complaints and so much pessimism are already unnecessary. They are not only unnecessary but they discourage the people, mutilate their creativity, stun their enterprising character and spoil their lives. And it doesn’t mean that there are not reasons to complain but because there are not enough proposals for the future. Complaint and pessimism are unnecessary not because things have improved but because the model is worn out… and many persons are too.
Public denunciation is not useless complaint. It will always be necessary to correct crimes and mistakes. Denunciation should be virtuous, peaceful, solidly documented and always accompanied by solutions and proposals. Fair and respectful denunciation from the adversary not only heals the damage but it dignifies him. Evil shouldn’t be concealed at all and the cry of the ones who grieve shouldn’t be silenced at all… Denunciation without anger and without bitterness heals the soul of the one who makes it and ennobles him. Denunciation without violence and without offensive language is a lofty way of the fight by pacific methods.
But denunciation only is not enough. It is not useful for the future. It doesn’t create or rebuilds anything. It points at the evil but it doesn’t eradicate it. It’s been too many years listening to radio programs, reading periodicals and studies about what has happened in the past and the present of Cuba. There is too much analysis about what shouldn’t be. But, honestly, we hear, read and watch a few spaces that devote most of their time, studies or efforts to discuss proposals for the future of Cuba. Such situation can destroy the present but it can’t build the future. And destruction without future visualization means a national suicide.
It’s the hour of proposals and projects for the future of Cuba.
Denunciation and proposal should stand together. Denunciation of what we don’t want is another way of announcing what we want. The fact of not having the proposal in a certain moment should not censure denunciation. Denunciation and announcement are inseparable from the one who loves what he defends. The fact of defending what one loves is not the same as to propose future projects. Cuba needs the closest cohabitation of denunciation and announcement of perspectives to come. It wouldn’t be good to silence the virtuous denunciation to negotiate an unethical proposal. The end doesn’t justify the means. To negotiate with ethics would mean maybe that the proposal clearly conveys the denunciation of what still remains.
In this hour of our history we consider that:
-Cuba needs to count on more persons that devise the future of the Nation, systematically informed by those brothers who dedicate their selfless and valuable work to the news of the immediacy which enables us to weigh up and evaluate the present.
- Cuba needs a proposal to be at least implied whenever there is news of the present.
-Cuba needs that every social movement whether it is a gender movement or pro-ethnic inclusion or pro-respect for diversity, pro-Human Rights defence, every cultural or artistic initiative and so many other projects of the growing civil society should have at the same time and above all, their proposals for the future of Cuba.
- Cuba needs the opposition political parties, the civic movements for change and all who work for a pacific transition to give priority and relevance to the views and initiatives to come and to the projects proposed to the Nation.
-Cuba needs journalists, annalists, economists, the alternative Mass Media, civic activists to dedicate more time to think and spread the future outlines and the rough drafts of the years to come.
The complaint convokes no one, the past paralyzes us and the present conquers nothing.
We are certain that the only thing that liberates the energies, feeds creation and encourages hope is the act of devising viable and gradual projects, affordable and with a long-term view.
The Cuban civil society is not incipient anymore but growing; it is developing a process of articulation in diversity; the mutual respect among the different groups grows visibly. The discredit of one another in the emulation has decreased and the cooperation among them grows without invading each other’s identity. In this very issue of Convivencia we are honoured to publish some minima principles agreed by a group of Cubans from the Island and Cuban brothers from the Diaspora. The first Civil Society Group of Consultants has already been created which is a team of horizontal and rotary work with the purpose of coordinating the periodic assessment of Cuban society. All this is good news from Cuba and for Cuba itself; also for the ones who look at us or accompany us with respect and love for the Cuban concept.
It would be convenient that these and other steps of marked maturity be followed by a serene and systematic effort to create ideas, projects and views for the future of Cuba. They already exist, here and there, they are serious and deep but they are not enough.
We suggest some criteria for making future projects for Cuba. They should have some or all of these structural elements:
-A plural analysis of the present Cuban reality.
-A general view of the future model.
-The proposals for solutions in the sector or for the Country: ends, general and specific purposes.
-The right pacific methods to achieve the expected purposes.
-The tactics and strategies that will mark the development of the proposals.
-The necessary means and resources.
-The protagonists and their roles; to control and limit responsibilities; honesty and diligence.
-The inclusive relations with the rest of society and the international community.
-To foresee the evaluations arranged to measure efficiency, effectiveness and probity.
It’s not necessary that all of them take all the steps. It would be better that also Cuban think tanks and scholars on Cuba should participate in the creation of several proposals for Cuba based on the needs and aspirations expressed by the citizens. Even better if they could collect and systematize the initiatives and intuitions from the citizens. It would be ideal if we drew up plans with study sessions and debates about the several proposals for solutions to structure these steps including all who want to be included.
We expect that those who denounce gender discrimination should propose projects and programmes for equality in dignity and opportunities of men and women. We expect that those who organize press organs should dedicate most part of their digital, printed, radio or television spaces to make inquiries about proposals for the future to solve the various problems the Country is facing. We expect that those who impulse initiatives of racial or social integration should also present their views for the future, their methods and means to achieve their ends. We expect that the ones who have political parties or movements should give more space to proposals and projects for the future of Cuba.
We expect that the ones who evaluate and denounce the violation of human rights should also propose the mechanisms that will organically guarantee the defence, promotion and education of fundamental rights in the democratic future. We expect that the ones who have professional associations such as jurists, union members or educators should devote most of their time to the search and debate of the legal frameworks, the systems of education, the kind of trade unions for the future of Cuba and their ends. In short, it is good that the ones who organize the different spaces where opinion is created in the framework of civil society should devote most of their time, effort and resources to the debate about the views and projects for the future.
In this hour of Cuba we certainly believe that the most urgent and exciting thing for ordinary citizens, something that can convoke them is to propose solutions, projects and designs for the future so that they can rebuild their lives, satisfy their most peremptory needs and give meaning and dignity to their existence.
The ones who propose more viable solutions and future projects will convoke more people and will bring the future forward quicker.
Pinar del Río, September 8th 2013
Fiesta of the Virgin La Caridad del Cobre, Patron Saint of the Republic of Cuba.