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Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel with former President Raúl Castro. Photo: Irene Pérez - Courtesy Cubadebate
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel with former President Raúl Castro. Photo: Irene Pérez - Courtesy Cubadebate.

Doomsayers must stop their guessing game about Cuba

All the doomsayers feel they can make their dire forecasts even before the actual person, measure or institution they are referring to has had a chance to…

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"Damned if you do and damned if you don't.” 

When it comes to Cuba, vociferous attack is the usual reaction to any changes, new measures, political or economic transformations the island government puts into practice, ironically by the same people who have made a career out of disparaging the perpetuation in power of the island’s leadership and its social and economic immobility. Yes, damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Nothing is good enough for the U.S. government, the so-called Cuba experts, the rapidly shrinking group of recalcitrant Cuban-Americans in South Florida or even for a new breed of younger Cubans both on the island and abroad who, for some mysterious reason, feel entitled to pass judgement, always cynical and condemnatory, about anything happening in their own country.

Strangely enough, all the doomsayers feel they can make their dire forecasts even before the actual person, measure or institution they are referring to has had a chance to either fail or succeed. In other words, it is just a guessing game, more wishful thinking than honest attempt at prediction.

Few times has that dismissive attitude been more evident than after last week’s presidential transition. Just keep in mind this is the first time in 60 years in which the president is not a member of the Castro family.

That position is now in the hands of Miguel Díaz-Canel, a 58-year-old mechanical engineer who had not been born yet during the Sierra Maestra guerrilla war that put an end to the murderous and corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The Revolution came to power on Jan. 1st., 1959.

It should be obvious to anyone that such transfer of power is a historic change of enormous significance for Cuba and could signal the beginning of a new era for the people of the island. But, damned if you do and damned if you don’t, the same people who had been loudly demanding change in the Cuban government now that it has happened have not wasted any time in condemning it and disqualifying the new president.

The condescending pundits, the reactionary Cuban-American politicos and all doomsayers should control apocalyptic predictions and their urge to see a failed Cuba.

It is only “more of the same,” the Castro dynasty is still in power, they say, as if Fidel had not died and Raúl were not 86 years of age. Interestingly enough, they don’t think the Bushes, the Kennedys or the Clintons are dynasties. Go figure.

Their arrogant, dismissive, condescending and bad intentioned “predictions” are as dishonest as their attempts to disguise their dark wishes for a failed transition as objective analysis. What the doomsayers mean when they forecast the failure of the new president of Cuba even before the start of his tenure, is that nothing short of Cuba abjectly rejecting socialism will suffice to meet their definition of “success.” 

“A New Cuba After the Castros? Not Quite,” the title of a recent New York Times editorial makes one wonder what could be a “new Cuba” that would satisfy the expectations of those who look at the island’s historic political moment with arrogant condescension and cynicism. Abandoning its political and economic model and embracing a “free-market’’ economy, a multi-party system, etc., would be enough? Or would they further demand that Cuba renounces its proud history and become no more than a submissive appendix of Washington’s backyard?  Something is certain: It will never happen as six decades of resisting U.S. hostility makes clear.

“Our aspiration (is) to a scenario of normality between the two countries; to a relation between equals and not to one of guardianships,” wrote in On Cuba Magazine Prof. Isabel Alfonso, a New York resident and a member of Cuban Americans for Engagement (CAFE). “We do not wait for a Messiah Rubio (blond) to come to put an end to our problems or give us lessons in democracy. It is up to us to denounce the immorality of those who look for any opportunity to incite the people to take to the streets and foment chaos, while they stay under a safe roof.” (My translation).

That Cuba is entering into a crucial period of profound change both administrative and political is obvious. Naturally it’s too soon to say how effective and how quick those changes will be.

The condescending pundits, the reactionary Cuban-American politicos and all doomsayers should control apocalyptic predictions and their urge to see a failed Cuba. It is enough with the Trump administration returning to an obsolete and despicable Cold War policy. Cuba’s sovereignty must be respected.

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