Thursday, December 25, 2014

Who is more opposed to the suspension of the embargo?

Who is more opposed to the suspension of the embargo? / Diario de Cuba,
Dariela Aquique Luna
Posted on December 23, 2014

The first obstacle will not come from the United States Congress, but
rather from the Cuban government itself.
Diario de Cuba, Dariela Aquique Luna, Havana, 22 December 2014 – Once
again it is obvious that the supposed "culture" of the Cuban people can
be summarized in terms of basic literacy and median levels of schooling.
Except for a high number of intellectuals and professionals, the ability
to process information and analyze it coherently is a gift that has not
been granted to the majority of that population, who were not taught to
think for themselves; whose knowledge of the world and of their own
country for more than 50 years has been limited to official
pronouncements translated into preconceived rhetoric.

Having only scarce Internet access, an ignorance of how new technologies
are used, and a perspective shaped solely by state-run media, my
compatriots are unaware even of how things work. Therefore it is not
unusual to overhear very naïve conversations with one or more
participants claiming that, following the announcements by Obama,
happiness and prosperity have arrived in Cuba. This is because for too
long, many Cubans have believed that all the evils afflicting this
country are due exclusively to the United States embargo.

Were the economic, commercial and financial sanctions against the Island
definitively suspended, the Cuban government would have the first
problem, for there would no longer be a scapegoat for the deficiencies
and errors in the state-run economy, and their resulting effects on the
country's social life. Cuba would have to enter the arena of the real
economic relations that govern the world today and not those that have
been invented at their convenience to conceal structural deformations,
which have created a lasting dependence on other economies that have
proverbially supported the productive system of the country terms of
capital and technology. That would be the first challenge.

On the other hand, the changes expected by that nascent, small-business
class in Cuba would generate panic in the sectors of power. This is
because, as the Marxists say, "the economic base defines the
superstructure." It is exactly for this reason that the Castro
government, from its first moments, focused on planning the state
sectors of industry, banking and services, centralizing the
administration of material and human resources, all in the name of
"economic sovereignty," but really only to disguise its paranoia about
threats to its political power.

Another quite interesting point is the matter of allowing free access to
the "network of networks." This would be like carrying out a second
literacy campaign in Cuba. We Cubans would have to start from scratch in
such subjects as civics, law, commerce, urban planning, ad infinitum. In
other words, as the Communists know very well, change in the economy
would entail a change in society. What former US President Jimmy Carter
said — "Going to Cuba, doing business and investing there will bring
democracy to Cuba" — is something that the Castros and their henchmen do
not want to hear.

Obama, Carter, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and many
personalities and sectors, opine that normalizing relations with Cuba
will help the US more effectively promote political change on the
Island. But what the US president does not account for is the resistance
to these efforts that the Cuban government and its supporters will mount.

Mr. Barack Obama is naïve to think that a change in strategy will bring
democracy to Cuba. Cubans who think that an end to the embargo will make
all things well are naïve. We will continue to hear canned phrases such
as "foreign interference," and "we will not permit anyone to tell us
what we have to do," and all the rest of the half-century-old chatter.

The Cuban-American right should not be so worried about the
announcements and gestures coming from Obama. Who is most opposed to the
suspension of the embargo? The first obstacle to ceasing the embargo
will not come from the US Congress, but rather from the Cuban government
itself – behind the scenes, of course, and not without extracting
corresponding advantage from the matter.

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

Source: Who is more opposed to the suspension of the embargo? / Diario
de Cuba, Dariela Aquique Luna | Translating Cuba -

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