Friday, April 18, 2014

First Trimester of 2014

First Trimester of 2014 / Rafael Leon Rodriguez
Posted on April 18, 2014

The first three months of 2014 and part of April have stood out for the
now traditional practice of the government use and abuse of congresses,
symposia, fairs, assemblies, etc, from which emanate, almost always, two
messages: one for abroad and another for the boring local citizens.

The 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers Center (CTC), in which, as usual,
the secretary general was designated by the authorities and not
election, as would happen under free, plural and democratic elections by
the attending delegates, diminishing the credibility and independence of
the Cuban unions is an example.

On the other hand, the National Assembly unanimously adopted the new
Foreign Investment Law, which establishes, once again, discrimination
against Cuban citizens residing on the island, who can not invest or
participate on their own processes of this nature, nor through free
association or self employment. That is for state officials, state
capitalist, and for foreigners. Again, a state employment office will
fulfill the function of providing the labor force to the foreign
investment companies, as to not leave any loophole to free employment
for Cuban residents.

And it's as if they depreciate and despise we Cubans who live in Cuba.
For a long time we weren't even allowed to stay in hotels. Now, reviving
this examples, Cubans cannot enter the waiting rooms at our own
airports. And doesn't this embarrass the authorities? At the precise
point of access of those who visit us they begin the practice of
discriminating against locals. In the resorts of Varadero or Boyeros
this practice has been institutionalized. It's humiliating to see how
with indifference, without giving it any importance, they humiliate our
fellow citizens.

The most recent event ended last weekend: the VIII Congress of the Cuban
Writers and Artists Union, UNEAC. In his closing speech, Cuban Vice
President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermúdez, among others, spoke of the need to
regulate the dissemination of music and audiovisual materials in public
spaces. He also spoke about the battle against pseudo-cultural messages
associated with the exaltation of consumerism, to get ahead
economically, and stressed that the choice is socialism or barbarism.

Surely he must have been referring to a socialism not yet known nor what
will be, the so-called Socialism of the 21st Century, because the other
one, the socialism that wasn't, is already completely known. He said
this was the only alternative to save our culture. So if it's about
saving it, he should start by saving the productive culture of a country
because right now the animals in our fields are practically in danger of

The current sugar harvest is the smaller in the history of Cuba and the
lack of productivity of our land is stupefying. And looking back, at
Marti, we recognize the solution when he said in a speech at Hardman
Hall, NY on 10 October 1890:

"Neither childish boasting, nor empty promises, nor class hatred, nor
pressures from authority, nor blind opinion, nor village politics has
met our expectations, but the politics of foundation and of embrace,
where terrible ignorance gives way to justice and culture, and the proud
worship abides repenting the fraternity of man, from one end of the
island to the other, swords and books together, together those of the
mountains and the villages, hear, above the forever uprooted suspicions,
the creative word, the word: 'Brother!'"

Source: First Trimester of 2014 / Rafael Leon Rodriguez | Translating
Cuba -

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