Inefficiency and exclusion are the signs of what has to be changed in Cuba. It’s not only about economic inefficiency and exclusion but political, cultural, organizational and even sports inefficiency and exclusion. All of them lead to, and have their root cause in the inefficiency and the anthropological erosion which is the damage caused to the human person and prevents his full and happy development. It is, above all, a spiritual inefficiency. It is the soul block.
All political systems have inefficiencies, limitations and injustices and they make mistakes. There are realities and processes that cannot be measured only by a material efficiency. But to be satisfied with such state of things because the whole world is bad is the most opposite thing to evolution, development or whatever we want to call it.
For example, Brazil, with all its limitations, has reached a model of inclusive democracy and economy which has significantly decreased poverty, it has decreased unemployment and it has increased the standards of living through health, education, social security. Brazil, just one case, has grown economically, it has distributed the created wealth better but above all, it has created more wealth to be able to distribute it. All of it happened during two terms of office. Ten years. And they didn’t abandon or restrict democracy the way it was created in the West and by the way, Cuba belongs to that hemisphere not only because of obvious geographical reasons but also spiritual, cultural and historic reasons.
What doesn’t exist cannot be distributed and people cannot live on what comes from abroad in solidarity or due to political interests of other nations: that’s neo-colonialism and we have experienced its consequences three times in Cuba: with Spain, with the United States and with the former USSR. Now, as if we hadn’t learned from three previous mistakes we are watching to see what will happen in Venezuela. China is already showing its economic and political problems as a result of an eastern hybrid, odd and typical of cultures that have never known western democracy which is neither a swearword nor anything perfect but it is what is working nowadays, with its problems, but it has the human person and his citizen sovereignty as the centre, subject and end of social coexistence.
Cuba is not a laboratory of socialism but a nation with human beings.
More than fifty years experiencing a model of society is excessively enough to show what that model produces and cultivates in the citizens and where the nation is led. In the immense majority of today’s world, one government has, at the most, ten or twelve years to show what it is. It is ethically unacceptable to turn a whole nation into a political and social laboratory and it is so simply because we human beings have only one life and because we persons are not guinea pigs.
The dignity of all human persons cannot be used to try the inventiveness of one group or one ideology. To use persons to see if an economic plan or some political guidelines work is a human and moral damage and it’s civically unacceptable.
It is, at least, a serious irresponsibility to experience an “updating” in order to achieve efficiency against social justice and inclusion of the different ones in order to see if a political system can be saved; a political system which has been showed not to be effective, or egalitarian or fraternal and much less liberating.
Persons can become citizens and not subjects only if all their inalienable rights, not only economic and social but civil, political and cultural rights are recognized and respected in a frame of legality that should not hide political repression by saying that it is fighting some supposed common crimes. A frame of legality that should recognize and defend in Cuba what the government in Cuba demands to be respected in other countries.
If repression doesn’t stop there is no updating of any project.
As usual, we not only analyze the existent reality but we now go to propose some solutions in accordance with our condition of Cuban citizens:
So that a country “normalizes” its model all arbitrary detentions must stop even the ones that last a short time, also the threats transmitted during supposed friendly conversations, the pressure in the very workplaces and schools, the unofficial visits by officers wearing civil clothes who don’t give their true names or show their identity papers clearly or present a court order, that is, the ones who implement what we call a clandestine repression against pacific persons who show their faces, their identity cards, their residence and their project for Cuba in an honest and transparent way. These illegal methods even in the very existing legality, risk the citizen stability, tense the situation, give a negative image of Cuba abroad and slid the Country down a dangerous slope. We are sure that the highest responsible ones will stop these illicit methods for the sake of Cuba.
So that Cuba should be more respected and more integrated to the community of nations all disqualifying language to other Cuban citizens must stop either on the streets or in the press and television: to categorize every dissenting person with degrading epithets such as “warm”, “unpatriotic”, “mercenary”, “CIA agent”, lackey at the service of a foreign country” “traitor to the Country”. These epithets were already used during decades in the repudiation of the ones who were living the Country and suddenly there was an order and a conference about the Nation and the Emigration and it was enough to turn those warms into “butterflies”, that is, they became “the Cuban community abroad”. This is an example of what should be done to keep the unity of the Nation. Why should we repeat history after we have realized its failure and its negative ethics?
So that Cuba should be a “normal” Nation the repudiation acts must stop immediately and forever. The usage of some Cubans against other Cubans, of some neighbours against other neighbours who are led or at least allowed by the authorities who should keep peace and citizen tranquillity must stop. Those things must be legally punishable and morally reprehensible. Otherwise we are sowing rambles to reap thorns in the future. This does not help unity in diversity or national reconciliation.
So that unity in diversity can be constructed, all Cubans, with no exception, above all, the ones who hold some civil, political and religious responsibility and all who exercise the service of order and citizen tranquillity should ask ourselves and answer ourselves honestly this question: How is it possible to talk about, to think about, to promote and claim a national reconciliation without eradicating, condemn and punish all acts of political repudiation to pacific persons whether these actions might be spontaneous clashes or organized or allowed and guarded by security and order guards?
So that Cuba should achieve a sound integration to the international community keeping its independence and its sovereignty we should ask ourselves and answer with specific measures and urgent reforms: How can be officially used in the structures of State institutions the terms and realities such as “commissions for clashes” or “brigades for quick reply? This doesn’t help the unity of the Nation or the reconciliation of all Cubans. In the structures and institutions citizens must be treated equally in right and dignity.
So that exasperation and exodus should stop we should ask ourselves and answer with essential changes: Why do common people who don’t commit crimes are afraid of police or security authorities in a country that proclaims to live in a system of social justice? Where there is fear something must be corrected. Where there is fear to something undefined something must be cleared up. Where there is fear to someone undefined, something must be identified and healed.
If Cuba wants to really update its economic, political and social model with depth, in a structural and democratic way, repression to pacific and honest citizens must stop and inclusion must be the watch word.
Protecting political discrepancy and fighting common crime.
Police institutions must take care and protect political discrepancy which strengthens national unity and stability and they must devote themselves to fighting common crime which undermines and breaks up the Country instead of repressing political diversity.
If Cuba and its government really want to change all that has to be changed, they must replace the verbal attacks with the promotion of values; they must replace political repression with an open ideological debate with equal rights and opportunities; they must change the usage of Mass Media and make them accept diversity, decriminalize discrepancy and eliminate forever the discredit between Cuban brothers from all ideologies, religions, sex and geographic residence.
If Cuba, its government and civil society really wish to change all that must be changed then police and security organs should leave alone the ones who pacifically disagree using a civic attitude; they should stop considering “dangerous” or “of police interest” the ones who promote coexistence in peace and democratic diversity and they should devote themselves to fighting real illegality, common crime, rampant corruption in all levels of society, increasing violence, increasing criminality in young people who have been educated during the last 50 years, family violence and disintegration, public resource diversion, traffic of influence and power, irresponsible administration of the State goods, violation of contracts, misappropriation of productions, enterprise inefficiency, the venality of politicians, ineffectiveness of public officials, drug, prostitution, human trade, genre, racial and other kinds of discrimination.
We sincerely believe that these common crimes and other not mentioned are the ones which undermine, erodes, discredit the system and what is even worse they could cause grater evils of ethical character, of ungovernability and possible new organized mafias. Even the highest leaders of this Country have recognized and expressed it.
The urgency of these changes is evident in an unequivocal way in each family, each neighbourhood, each school and each workplace.
All Cubans, women and men, who are sincere with themselves know, verify and distinguish that the real and dangerous damage is not inflicted by pacific dissenters or opponents buy by the ones who want to live on illegality and permissiveness of organs which have been focussed, during five decades, on a wrong target which is the persons who disagree because they love Cuba, because they see clearly its evils and solutions and have decided to stay in our Country to work for its change, for human improvement, for political pluralism, for economic efficiency, for social progress and for holistic human development.
If an objective and multidisciplinary evaluation is done we will see in a transparent and defining way, how the following words said by the Apostle, who achieved unity in diversity in Cuba, work as a paradigm in Cuba today and help us to question ourselves. The first phrase of these words are usually quoted but the rest of the words are unknown and they illustrate the most universal and comprehensive perspective given by any statesman in our Country. Let us stop in each idea of this long quotation by Martí. Let it be a work program and a perspective for the true “updating” we want for the Nation:
“Men walk in two sides: the ones who love and set up and the ones who hate and destruct… There is much and spare aspiration in Cuba, much intelligence and the unemployed talents find little occupation in that life of beggars less desirable than death; that’s why we can’t deny that in Cuba, a trend or a habit of mutual disallowing and mean rivalry is emerging; something like rubbing shoulders excessively and selfishly to reach the dish of fame or to reach the table which is not well set to favour indispensable generosity and concord for the creation of the republic. These attitudes are expected to disappear as soon as the smothered activity is released through wide channels, as soon as the new land is open to the worker, commerce is open to the Creole, the newspaper is open to the truth and the tribune is open to teaching which is what tribunes are truly used for. Ah, Cuba, a future American university! It is bathed in the sea of deep blue: the hot and aerated land raises the mind clear and active at the same time: the beautifulness of nature attracts and keeps the man in love here: the children nourished by the university and practical world’s culture speak with elegance and think with majesty, in a land where the three civilizations will be connected tomorrow. To live in the bond of the worlds, enjoying the easy freedom of a rich and hard-working country, as a representative and authentic people where the American initiative joins the European art that moderates its rawness and savageness, will be more beautiful rather than let the native soul, delicate and strong at the same time, surrender to an alien national spirit that contains only one of the factors of the Island’s soul; an alien spirit that would pour the torrents of its selfish and corrupting wealth on the poor and venal island, and would turn a refined people with a glorious future into what England has made of Hindustan! And to plot the obscure jealously, the fame by biting, the reduction of the mind to local controversies and unimportant things is not good for the future life, for the original and cultured life that would turn the rotten garden into an interesting and saving nationality, a spiritual yeast in an American bread, an altar where the spirits of the world should take communion in the happiness of climate and richness at the same time.”.
The ethical principles to rebuild the Cuban nation are two:
-That freedom should become responsibility and generosity.
- That the respect for the rights of all should become the foundation of peace.
Martí himself who founded our nation respecting diversity didn’t want to make Utopian projects as great as unattainable because they are soul empty and that’s why they collapse in one day; he wanted the first law of the republic to be “man’s full dignity”. The act of building up with love is not founded only on the project of community coexistence explained by the quotation but also, and above all, by the soul nobility explained in the following description of the person who wants to be a free citizen:
“The man of free chest refuses to give his heart to the selfish and conquering freedom and predicts that the triumph of the world resides in the abundance of generosity, in the full passion for the right to respect the others’ rights as much as his own, more than in the artistic Babylonian buildings”.
This would be a very Cuban way to update the Country with inclusion and reconciliation and not a system or a single party. It would be also a way to rebuild the Cuban person who suffers from an anthropological deterioration due to a collectivist way of life.
All of us, let’s do it!
Pinar del Río, July 20th 2012.