Analysts of the Cuban conundrum pay a lot of attention to the economic and financial crisis that already plagues the country and tends to worsen. No doubt this is of utmost importance. But the power elite faces a parallel crisis that also puts them in great danger and, in turn, aggravates the economic one.
If the availability of financial capital is in free fall, the same happens with the positive image ─the so-called symbolic capital─ that their propaganda apparatus has been selling to the Cubans and the world for six decades.
Without financial capital there is no economy, but without symbolic capital there is no legitimacy
The supposedly philanthropic, progressive and humanistic Cuban leaders can no longer hide the ominous of their power.
In Venezuela they oversee the repression and torture of any student, professional, politician or member of the military they suspect of opposing the dictatorship.
Their internationalist medical brigades have been laid bare ─in a documented and irrefutable way─ as a modern slavery operation that also serves to intervene in the internal affairs of other States, by using them as a facade for intelligence operations and ideological influence on the host country population.
The legend of the clandestine fighters of Fidel Castro’s 26 de Julio Movement and their struggle against the Batista dictatorship got discredited as the gerontocracy currently leading the country refuses to recognize the same right of rebellion to the new generation which, by contrast with the terrorist tactics they used before 1959, favors non-violent methods.
The so-called “revolution of the humble, for the humble and by the humble” was none of the three. Today ─thanks to the era of digital information─ the real Cuba can no longer be hidden.
What has grown in Cuba since 1959 is the poverty already scourging more than half of the population. This totalitarian society has taken the lives of tens of thousands of Cubans who faced firing squads, drowned in the Florida Straits or languished in the Cuban Gulag. The country’s main export items are no longer industrial or agricultural ones, but instead slave labor, as well as military, intelligence and repression advisors.
The initiative and talent of the common citizen are reined in by a tight internal blockade and, to make ends meet, ordinary Cubans must resort to stealing and feeding the black market. Foreign companies endure the uncertainty of a legal framework that can change any time at the whim of those in power.
As the image of the country kept depreciating, it became a place where investing is no longer wise. Thus, the crisis of symbolic capital ends up worsening the financial crisis.
Except for the devoted and associated with the few leftover sects of Stalinist leftism, “the Emperor” is finally ─and hopelessly─ naked.