Since the 1990’s the US government, for the first time, decided to unmask the yearly propaganda stunt by which the Cuban dictatorship and presents itself before the U.N. General Assembly as the victim of the imperialist monster.
In this occasion, Washington decided to submit eight amendments to the Cuban resolution against the US embargo. The content of the amendments touch upon the lack of civil, political and economic liberties, the absence of an independent judicial power, the existence of political prisoners, the regular beatings of detainees, as well as the suppression of free expression, the right to labor strikes, free trade unions and independent journalism.
The amendments are aimed at demanding that Cuba be accountable at the UN for the violation of the above mentioned rights. The bewilderment in Havana was such that the Minister of Foreign Relations, Bruno Rodriguez, only reaction was that “those amendments are laughable”. His clumsiness is what is actually laughable.
The bad news for the dictatorship at the United Nations didn’t stop there. The US also requested the Secretary General to take measures against the Cuban “Diplomatic Rapid Response Brigade” that interfered a working session at the ECOSOC chamber, to present the new U.S. campaign to denounce the existence of political prisoners in the Island. Additionally, twenty-one former Latin American presidents have just qualified Cuba as a “criminal state.”
Meanwhile, on the island, the official and only labor union Cuban Workers Federation (CTC) told the workers to stop insisting that their salary is insufficient, because there will be no increases until the two Cuban currencies in circulation are unified and the industrial production and services are increased. (Which may be never?).
In the midst of these new concerns and the remarkable increase in political repression, including the threat of prohibiting the movement of the Ladies in White in Matanzas, the regime reported that have paid 2,600 million dollars to 14 creditor countries members of the Paris Club. But that, far from being good news to regain the confidence of the financial markets, leaves a sea of questions and suspicions floating in the air.
The country lacks cash to import. Nor does it produces anything exportable except for medical services with their “white-robes slavery” project. Ironically, now sugar is being imported from France to what used to be the “Sugar Mill” of the world.
And now the last straw: a prestigious consulting firm, Havana Consulting Group, revealed that in 2017 private entrepreneurs brought $2.39 billion outside of Cuba either to invest it or spend it in other countries, due to the absence of wholesale markets, limits to the growth of private companies and abusive taxes. General Raul Castro prefers them not to invest in their homeland or to prosper, nor to generate jobs, products and services that could provide a better standard of living in the country.
The $2.390 billion invested or spent abroad by the still aspiring entrepreneurs last year is the equivalent to 4.5 times the value of the sugar harvest of 2018. If that amount would have been invested in Cuba, the GDP would have not fallen, there would be more well-paid jobs, more production and services for nationals and tourists, less poverty and most likely, it would probably have been possible to reunite the two currencies circulating in the Island.
And here we return to the beginning of this editorial comment. The main conflict of the Cubans is not the external, bilateral, with the United States. It is the clash between the needs and dreams of prosperity of the population and the totalitarian regime that does not allow any significant change for the right things to happen.
That is why the amendments presented by the United States at the United Nations to the Castro resolution on the embargo have all the logic of the world. Without the freedoms that Washington demands for Cubans in these amendments, it will not be possible to lift the internal blockade of the totalitarian state to bring about national prosperity.