A matter of pride
2009 started in Cuba with the Revolution’s 50th anniversary celebration.
2009 started in Cuba with the Revolution’s 50th anniversary celebration. This Thursday, January 1, was the 50th anniversary of Fidel Castro’s 1959 victory against Fulgencio Batista.
It was the 50th anniversary of a victory against a dictatorship, but there weren’t any big celebrations and it’s easy to know why. In 2009 Cuba will face a 5.6 percent GDP deficit, among many other discouraging economic figures, and we shouldn’t forget the three hurricanes that hit the island in 2008, leaving behind $1 billion worth in damages.
Parallel to the Revolution’s fifty years, it’s also the 46th “anniversary” of the United States economic embargo on the island, which also bans trips and sending remittances.
It’s 46 years in which its supporters have said a military regime cannot receive the prizes of tourism and commercial exchange with Cuba, a tyranny that has executed and imprisoned thousands of Cubans.
But in reality it is the anniversary of the 46-year-old blockade that has not worked and has handed on a platter Fidel Castro the excuse to defend the failure of his Caribbean communism.
It has not worked because it is an act just based on politicking and, especially, in pride and even obsession, which has not hindered the flow of US products into Cuba.
The problem is that amidst this “Cold War relic” there is in Cuba—and not in Miami—an impoverished Cuban people, without democracy, with a plethora of “eyes and ears” belonging to a regime, and disconnected from the world and their families.
Only the United States, Israel and Palau Island voted in favor of the economic embargo in the most recent voting session at the United Nations General Assembly, while 185 countries voted against it. It’s been 17 consecutive years in which the UN has voted against the embargo.
On January 20, 20 days after the 50th anniversary of worn down revolution with worn down leaders, the call to make sense has a hope.
With Barack Obama, who has opposed more than once the current US policy towards the Island, taking possession as President of the United States there’s a chance to put to an end this absurd commercial and financial embargo that Washington imposed half a century ago.