Some Doubts / Fernando Damaso

Photo: Rebeca

In the recently concluded sessions of the National Assembly in which, according to the government-run press, the overall state of the country was discussed, several issues attracted attention.

To review all the country’s problems in only five days (two devoted to work by commissions, one listening to reports by heads of various departments and one in plenary session) must be a very difficult task given how complicated and longstanding each of the problems they analyzed are. If after fifty-six years of the same government — with only some changes in the secondary faces — they remain unaware of the unresolved problems and, even worse, do not know how to fix them, it’s time to start worrying.

Why so many experiments and, also, why prolong them? It now seems that the experiment with governmental operations in Artemisa and Mayabeque provinces will be extended until December 2016. Isn’t that too much time? And then what? A country is not a science lab. When one assumes power, it is to govern, not to experiment. We have spent fifty-six years carrying out experiments, most of them failures. We should have at least learned from experience.

And why so many plans with completion dates in 2020, 2030, 2050? Does someone really believe time is on his side?

All this reminds me of the famous five-year plans, which we copied word-for-word from our “older brothers,” the Soviets. There was even a “Strategy for the Year 2000.” They worked hard preparing it, dedicating time and resources, and in the end it burst like a bubble, never to be heard of again. We were going to be building locomotives, planes and ships. We were going to be self-sufficient in agricultural production, exporting and even meeting our own needs with light industry. Are we going to make the same mistake all over again with new players? Why not dedicate the limited resources we have to at least alleviating Cubans’ day-to-day lives?

The authorities often like to reiterate that socialism is irreversible, but this is a misuse that particular word. In fact the only thing irreversible is change. As long as they do not understand and accept that, they will continue grasping at straws to the detriment of the Cuban people.

9 July 2014

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