Crónica           IMPRIMIR
February 14, 2008

The Uncertain Future of Cuba

By Dolia Leal Francisco

HAVANA, Cuba, February ( - Most studies of the current Cuban situation agree that in the, short-term, there will be important changes in the country.

The people are asking if these changes will improve or worsen their precarious situation.  Really, this worry is valid, because, as the popular saying says some things go with guitar and others go with trombone. 

In diverse symposiums outside of Cuba, various academics have speculated a lot on the matter by comparing Cuba’s current problems to the events that motivated the various transitions in other countries in the Americas and Europe.  However, the perspective that the Cubans have about the current economic political and social conditions within their nation differs greatly from the conclusions and proposals emerging from the previously mentioned conferences. 

The Cubans believe that the circumstances and events that unfolded in the countries referred to are actually quite different. 

In Eastern Europe, Spain, China, and even Vietnam, the "historic generation" of founders had been replaced by various generations of new politicians that understood the need for change.  It should be emphasized that in the case of Eastern European countries, the Soviets were always seen as a force of occupation. 

In Latin America, the changes were signaled by the facts that the military dictatorships had made it too difficult for themselves to stay in power. 

The Cuban reality can be summed up in a few points:

1.  The “historic generation” of founders has remained in the power
2.  Official stagnation
3.  Economic ruin
4.  Generalized Corruption
5.  Emigration

The country’s leaders remain active and are unwilling to yield the power to anybody.  The depth of the country’s economic disaster has had an impact on the meager resources that Cuban families can manage for their subsistence. This has an incremental impact on the level of interest in the work being done by the state businesses that do not pay in foreign currencies, and intensifies the disconnect between labor centers and schools, particularly for youth. 

The flow of immigrants that is a very serious problem for Cuba and the United States at the moment is an uncontrollable.   It could be predicted that it will gradually increase to the same extent that the economic crisis until it too is unsustainable. 

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro remains in bed, but in change. General Raúl Castro will not be able to assume real power completely.  The hard line leaders in such as situation will be opposed to any real change. 

To what length will the current rulers go to maintain control over the country?  We will have to wait for the facts produced during this leap year.  The forecasts are not encouraging for anyone. 

Translation courtesy of Scott Hudson from People in Need.



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