Sunday, January 25, 2015

To remain entrenched

"To remain entrenched" / 14ymedio, Victor Ariel Gonzalez
Posted on January 25, 2015

14ymedio, VICTOR ARIEL GONZÁLEZ, Havana, 24 January 2015 — We didn't
have to wait too long for an answer. "Yes, we have an enemy" was the
title of an opinion article published some days ago by Pinar del Río's
Guerrillero, perhaps in honor to the provincial newspaper's bellicose
name. In any case, this was how the spokesman of the only political
party in Cuba's westernmost province appraised the country's
rapprochement to the United States, which started on December 17: "when
the enemy is in your home, he becomes even more dangerous."

However, today the Island seems committed to dialogue with the United
States regardless of how "dangerous" it might be. On Thursday, a first
round of talks regarding the reopening of embassies and "other topics of
bilateral interest" took place in Havana. That same day, Granma, the
country's official newspaper, dedicated almost an entire page to an
analysis of the current diplomatic process, noting that "diverse are the
tendencies that can be observed; from the slightly naïve views of those
that think that with it all our problems will be solved, to those that
frown upon the recent developments and prefer to remain entrenched."

Looking back, it turns out that less than two weeks after the local
newspaper Guerrillero called for "a new kind of confrontation" with the
United States, Granma would publish several lines calling for
moderation. That some Cubans prefer "to remain entrenched" does not
sound like a positive attitude.

It certainly is not. What's interesting is that it be recognized as such
by a generally intransigent medium like Granma. At risk of seeming
infected with the current excessive enthusiasm, I would even say it is a
good precedent. Yes, it's time to be moderates, because this attitude is
the only way of negotiating solutions.

Even government officials have recognized certain adverse conditions in
Cuba's quest to resurface undefeated – that is to say without needing to
make any concessions – from dialogue with the United States and
therefore to remain exactly as we have known it. Among the difficulties
are "years of material scarcity, certain weaknesses in the social
formation of younger generations, and the loss of some values." But, the
greatest challenge is not a return to a "dependent relationship" with
our Northern Neighbor; it is redefining the concept of enmity. And,
alongside that, controlling the hope generated by the easing of
political tension without seeming a spoilsport.

"There have been and there continue to be deficiencies in the social
formation of our children and youths," says Granma. However, even for
those who "are not so young anymore" it seems that "the past no longer
exists" and that's the biggest worry for an ideology that, faced with
limited perspective, clings desperately to its past, invoking a
disagreement that has lost it followers. In any case, "the reserves of
our identity" should save us against those disadvantages.

Both the solitude and fatigue of the Island's rulers become more
tangible with each passing day. The character of the Cuban government
has cost it many friends; but currently, as dialogues with the United
States unfold, it seems that the regime will also lose its most valuable
enemy, the wild card it used to excuse its – many – failures. To remain
entrenched is the instinctive response of those who are afraid, even of
their own shadows.

Source: "To remain entrenched" / 14ymedio, Victor Ariel Gonzalez |
Translating Cuba -

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