Little War Games / Fernando Dámaso
Fernando Damaso, 29 November 2016 — In October, Hurricane Matthew struck
the eastern side of the Island, creating destruction and desolation
in Maisí, Baracoa, and other communities of the territory, from which
their inhabitants–given the precariousness under which they were already
living–will take years to recover. This is especially so being that much
of what is reconstructed today is of a temporary character, due to the
lack of durability and resistance to natural phenomena of the materials
The national economy continues to be in crisis, and the lack of supplies
can be seen in the empty shelves of the freely-convertible currency
(CUC) stores, in the service stations bereft of gasoline, and in the
pharmacies that don't stock basic medications. Other essential services
also show their deterioration and affect the Cuban people.
Against all logic, from the 16th through 18th of this month, the
authorities carried out the Bastion 2016 Strategic Exercise, which
practically paralyzed the country for those three days. As if this were
not enough, they added two "Days of Defense," the 19th and 20th, with
the goal of perfecting the country's preparedness to confront a supposed
enemy, under the concept of "War of All the People."
In the conclusions published in the official press, the solution to
wartime problems was declared "successful" by the ministries in charge
(the same ones who are incapable of resolving the problems of peacetime)
as were the exercises carried out with the mobilized population
(infantry exercises, arming and disarming of weapons, shooting, grenade
launching, disguise and others). In addition, there were assurances that
"Cuba's invulnerability to military aggression" had been confirmed.
In today's world, with the level of arms development and technological
advances in all spheres, no country can consider itself invulnerable,
including the major powers. It is absurd to declare this with respect to
a small and poor country such as Cuba, equipped with obsolete and
Now the practice runs were underway for a great military parade, in the
style of those from the Cold War era, on 2 December, for the 60th
anniversary of the Landing of the Granma and in honor of the "historic
leader's" 90th birthday–which has been moved to 2 January 2017, due to
his death on the evening of 25 November and the activities surrounding
It is true that all of these events, except the (albeit expected)
demise, was long planned. But prior to Hurricane Matthew and the results
of the United States elections. they could have been reconsidered.
It is no secret to anyone that these happenings required resources of
all types and exacted great physical and economic costs. The questions
by many citizens were: Why, instead of being squandered, were these
means not applied to relieve–in the shortest time possible and with
greater quality–the problems in the communities affected by the hurricane?
The explanations provided by the authorities–including the one about the
exclusion of Guantánamo, a poor province with few resources, from these
activities–satisfied very few. In the context of the improvement of
relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States, do they
not insert unnecessary noise?
Could it be that with these little war games, there was an attempt to
"cohere" to the regime the ever-less "cohered" Cuban people?
Could it be a pathetic attempt to "play an old hand" for the benefit of
the next tenant of the White House?
Given the recent events, much should change.
Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison
Source: Little War Games / Fernando Dámaso – Translating Cuba -