Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Erratic Corrections of Machado Ventura

The Erratic Corrections of Machado Ventura / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 26 July 2016 – Sporting a hat to
protect himself from the rays of the sun, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura
explained in his speech for the 26th of July that the changes introduced
in the Cuban model "are aimed at consolidating our socialism, to make
more prospero (prosperous) and sustainable." The keynote speaker at an
event this morning in Sancti Spiritus realized immediately that he had
omitted the enclitic pronoun "it" next to the verb "to make" and
corrected it but introduced a new error: "To make it more proximo (next)
and sustainable."

To the cheerful confusion of those who didn't notice the initial
grammatical slip, the vice president conveyed the impression that he
hadn't meant to say prosperous, but proximo (next). The correction thus
became a political problem, because if there is something Cubans know it
is that the promised socialism "without haste, but without pause" could
be anything or have innumerable oddities, but in no way is it "next."

Perhaps, later on, Machado Ventura will argue that the gaffe obeyed the
desires that "all revolutionaries have to reach the goal for which they
have fought." However, the subtle equivocation, which doesn't appear in
the official version of the speech published in the state newspaper
Granma, may have set listeners to thinking about the controversial issue
of deadlines to deliver on certain promises.

At least three generations of Cubans have witnessed, for years, the
commemorations around that fateful 26th of July 1953, a tragic date that
has been cataloged – brazenly – as "the happiest day in history" in a
chorus of the worst tune ever.

For decades, the interminable speeches that Fidel Castro delivered on
the ceremonies of those events that immolated young people were expected
as the moment when he would announce "the good news." On the podium,
index finger pointing skyward, he would prophesy a luminous future for
the country and convince his audience of the inevitable and imminent
materialization of utopia.

However, those times have passed and today the model of socialism that
is debated among "hundreds of thousands of militants of the Party and of
the Union of Young Communists, and representatives from all sectors of
society," with reference to the documents of the Seventh Communist Party
Congress, shows no practical signs that it will bring prosperity, nor
that it will be sustainable over the long term.

Instead, what is coming "next" is only the return of the economic
difficulties now classified as temporary that characterized the most
difficult years of the Special Period. These material limitations, in
fact, never disappeared completely from daily life, but could get worse
given the collapse of Venezuela and the economic dysfunction of the
national model.

Machado Ventura referred this Tuesday to these conquests which had to be
"temporarily" given up in the most acute phase of the Special Period,
but indicated with optimism that "today they are practically all being
recovered," while "some belonged to that historic moment and it would
not be rational to reestablish them." He also spoke about other
conquests, which he did not enumerate, that "are in a quantitative and
qualitative phase superior to those years."

The most important element of the vice president's speech lay in its
omissions, more than in its affirmations. The man who is seen as a
recalcitrant orthodox avoided deciphering the enigma that now torments
millions of Cubans and that has been converted into history in his
wishy-washy speech. Did the Special Period end, or are we just going
through a less acute phase? Is the current crisis a new stage in the
chronic fall of the system, or is it the evidence of the "next" – that
is the imminent – end of Castroism?

Source: The Erratic Corrections of Machado Ventura / 14ymedio, Reinaldo
Escobar – Translating Cuba -

No comments:

Post a Comment