Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cuba’s All-So-Kind Economy Czar

Cuba's All-So-Kind Economy Czar
July 22, 2014
Erasmo Calzadilla

HAVANA TIMES — Marino Murillo, the so-called "reforms Czar", has always
struck me as a contemptuous person. The arrogance with which he speaks
before those who allegedly represent the people, the self-confidence
with which he addresses the thorny issues no one before him has been
able to solve, and his body language, place him somewhere between a
domineering public official and a neighborhood butcher.

These elements of body language, together with the concrete content of
his pronouncements, make it seem as though Murillo does not appear
before parliament to account for his actions but to threaten and scold
the public, inform them at best.

I did however notice a certain change in his demeanor in his most recent
public appearances: a distant melancholy in his eyes, an almost
unnoticeable stammering, there where there was once resolve, less
vigorous hand movements…

There were subtle signs of fatigue and doubt, signs that less sensitive
spirits may not have noticed. The fact is that, in these appearances,
his spiels did not make my blood boil.

Today, however, he once again set me off.

After referring to the re-establishment of a single currency monetary
system and other labor-related provisions that would be implemented in
the coming new stage of the reform process, the Czar said:

"These tasks are all the more complex because of the commitment towards
the people we have. In other parts of the world, these things can be
done much more easily."

The phrases that Murillo often lets out reveal the real state of Cuba's
power relations and the way in which the governing class interprets the
social contract.

In the Czar's worldview, Cuba's political stage is set up as follows:

On the one side, we have the people, not the real people but the people
presupposed by the Party Guidelines: an innocent people, as helpless as
a small child that tells the leaders its problems so that they can solve

On the other side of the equation we have the leaders: a group of
know-it-all technocrats and responsible patriarchs who know what to do
to solve the said problems, provided people work hard and remain

If the technocrats wanted (this is the best part) they could solve
social problems through unpopular measures, as their super-evil
counterparts do in the rest of the world, but their commitment towards
the people prevents them from going so far.

Ultimately, I am grateful for such unsubtle politicians, for politicians
who think like foremen and bare themselves and call a spade a spade from
time to time. I am confident such insolent remarks will someday end up
angering Cubans and awakening their civic pride, their dormant dignity
and their political awareness. If it happened to me, why can't it happen
to others?

Source: Cuba's All-So-Kind Economy Czar - Havana -

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