Six decades ago we were asked to make sacrifices for a luminous future. The future arrived long ago. We’ve already lived in it, and it doesn’t work.
It is not possible to wait. More than 60 years of a failed system with a top leadership and their families that do not share the plight of the people and demand more sacrifices. Three lost generations.
Six decades ago we were asked to make sacrifices for a luminous future. The future arrived long ago. We’ve already lived in it, and it doesn’t work. More than 55% of Cuban households live below the poverty line. That is the legacy of this system that now drives the people to a famine!
Who are the people today?
The millions of children and young people with no future, who today live without adequate food in crowded homes, study in dilapidated schools and graduate to find jobs with salaries that do not reward their knowledge and efforts.
The more than four million state wage earners, who perform unproductive tasks, conmute in a non-existent public transportation system, are paid in a devalued national currency and sold what they need in dollars so they depend on family remittances to survive.
The hundreds of thousands of farmers who have not received a title to the land, have the obligation to sell 80% to a Produce Collecting Agency at the prices that that institution sets arbitrarily and whose payments take months to materialize; lacking tools, adequate clothes and seeds, being prohibited from importing or exporting freely, and permanently harassed by police who punish them with exorbitant fines and confiscate their productions.
The hundreds of thousands of “self-employed” workers who, like the farmers, are denied ownership registration of their businesses, denied access to wholesale markets, prohibited from importing or exporting directly, are imposed high taxes, are subjected to continuous abuse by corrupt inspectors and police who harass them with fines and confiscate their belongings, sometimes even their homes.
The more than one million citizens who for decades have waited in collective shelters for decent housing or resources to repair their own in order to escape a collapse that crushes their entire family. Almost 70% of the population lacks stable water service.
The thousands of private carriers who are harassed by the State with fines, high taxes, vehicle confiscation, and route bans to pick up passengers.
The millions of people who already live below the international limits that define poverty – the average salary in Cuba is just over 30 dollars a month – and especially the thousands of pensioners who are part of that impoverished legion of the Cuban population. Monetary unification will not make the economy grow but poverty will grow when prices soar with it.
The hundreds of thousands of professionals (teachers, doctors, engineers, architects, lawyers, among many others), poorly paid, barred from the private exercise of their profession, as well as the intellectuals and artists whose writings and artistic works are censored, their ideas persecuted and their work projects blocked.
The millions of people who cannot find their medicines in pharmacies and suffer the serious deterioration of public health services despite the fact that the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) acknowledged that in 2018 alone, 6.4 billion dollar, that were arbitrarily taken from the salaries of Cuban doctors abroad, entered the economy. Where is that money?
The almost two million Cubans who were forced to leave their homeland and today are treated as second-class citizens, despite the fact that they are the ones who support the family economy on the island. The thousands of exiles, who are prohibited from entering to the land where they were born.
The more than 11 million Cubans who are denied a quality and cheap internet connection that would allow them, among other things, to access free professional studies and remote employment contracts.
All of them are today the Cuban people. They are the ones who suffer. Those who will immediately bear the brunt of the so-called “monetary unification” policy to satisfy foreign investors without putting in place the deep economic and social reforms that ordinary Cubans need.
From the art of waiting to the art of action
In order to open ways to the free search for prosperity and happiness, it is necessary to get rid of the system that has blocked it for 60 years. Pretending to obtain different results by doing the same is a symptom of insanity. That entails liberating the economy by unleashing creativity and personal initiative today chained by laws, exorbitant taxes and absurd repressions. In turn, this requires —indispensably — establishing the freedom to think, speak and organize independently. A better Cuba is certainly possible.
Those who today use fear and repression to uphold this system that benefits them are a tiny minority. Their privileged position is based on the myth that they are invincible because they have a monopoly on force. But force is no guarantee for obedience.
The reign of fear of this little mafia group will crumble the moment that people —including their policemen and soldiers, whose relatives also suffer the aforementioned hardships— disobey their orders. Ignore them. Everyone, including them, have the right to say NO.
No to the acts of repudiation. No to monitoring and reporting on neighbors. No to attending meetings and official events. No to belonging to the political and mass organizations. No to police abuse. No to paying unfair and excessive taxes.
Submitting and continuing to wait for solutions that will come “from above” amounts to personal and national suicide. Wait for what? A famine, the next collapsing building, the next fine and confiscation?
It is the time of the people. The anti-national mafia elite, which does not share the suffering of the citizens and insists on their parasitism, are not needed. As their late leader said: Let them go! We don’t want them! We don’t need them!