I do not wish the future of Cuba to be like the present of Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras or even Puerto Rico,
Currently, under contract with the FAO, I advise the Cuban government in the implementation of the Food Sovereignty and Nutritional Education Plan.
I know in detail the Cuban daily life, including the difficulties faced by the population, the challenges to the Revolution, the criticisms of the country’s intellectuals and artists. I visited prisons, talked to opponents of the Revolution, lived with Cuban priests and lay people opposed to socialism.
When they tell me, a Brazilian, that there is no democracy in Cuba, I descend from the abstraction of words to reality.
How many photos and news have been seen or are seen of Cubans in misery, beggars scattered on the sidewalks, children abandoned in the streets, families under the viaducts? Something similar to the cracolândia, to the militias, to the long lines of sick people waiting years to be treated in a hospital?
I warn friends:
There is nothing more prostituted than language. The famous democracy born in Greece has its merits, but it is good to remember that, at that time, Athens had 20,000 inhabitants who lived off the work of 400,000 slaves… What would one of those thousands of servants answer if asked about the virtues of democracy?
Democracy, in my concept, means the ‘Our Father’ -the authority legitimized by the popular will- and the ‘Our Bread’ -the sharing of the fruits of nature and human labor-. Electoral rotation does not make or ensure a democracy. Brazil and India, considered democracies, are flagrant examples of misery, poverty, exclusion, oppression and suffering.
Only those who know the reality of Cuba before 1959 know why Fidel had so much popular support to lead the Revolution to victory.
The country was known by the nickname ‘brothel of the Caribbean’. The mafia dominated the banks and tourism (there are several movies about this). Havana’s main neighborhood, still called Vedado, has this name because blacks were not allowed to circulate there….
The United States was never satisfied with having lost the Cuba subjected to its ambitions. Therefore, shortly after the victory of the guerrillas of the Sierra Maestra, they tried to invade the island with mercenary troops. They were defeated in April 1961. The following year, President Kennedy decreed the blockade of Cuba, which continues to this day.
Cuba is an island with few resources. It is forced to import more than 60 percent of the country’s essential products. With the tightening of the blockade promoted by Trump (243 new measures and, for the moment, not withdrawn by Biden), and the pandemic, which has completely eliminated one of the country’s main sources of resources, tourism, the internal situation has worsened.
Cubans had to tighten their belts. Then, those dissatisfied with the Revolution, who gravitate in the orbit of the ‘American dream’, promoted the protests of Sunday, July 11, with the ‘solidarity’ support of the CIA, whose chief has just made a tour of the continent, worried about the results of the elections in Peru and Chile.
Who best explains the current situation in Cuba is its president, Díaz-Canel:
“The financial, economic, commercial and energy persecution has begun. They (the White House) want to provoke an internal social explosion in Cuba to ask for ‘humanitarian missions’ that will translate into invasions and military interference. We have been honest, we have been transparent, we have been clear, and at all times we have explained to our people the complexities of the current situation. I remember that more than a year and a half ago, when the second half of 2019 began, we had to explain that we were in a difficult situation. The United States began to intensify a series of restrictive measures, tightening of the blockade, financial persecutions against the energy sector, with the aim of stifling our economy. This would provoke the desired massive social outburst, in order to call for a ‘humanitarian’ intervention, which would end in military interventions.”
It is this fragility that opens a flank to demonstrations of discontent, without the government putting tanks and troops in the streets. The resistance of the Cuban people, nourished by examples such as Martí, Che Guevara and Fidel, has proven to be invincible. And we must, all of us who fight for a more just world, stand in solidarity with them.
Translation by Internationalist 360°
This article was republished from Internationalist 360.