News and Facts about Cuba

A necessary and useful change

A necessary and useful change
ELIECER ÁVILA, La Habana | Diciembre 19, 2014

The change in US policy concerning Cuba was necessary and useful,
although it did not happen with all the guarantees that many of us
wanted. Obama’s cabinet did not act lightly, but made a thorough
analysis and came to the same conclusions that many of the actors of
civil society in Cuba, and the people in general, have been raising.

The policy of sanctions and isolation became the key currency of the
political discourse of the Cuban government. With that currency, the
government bought the support of the world, and especially of a Latin
America hurt by wrong approaches of the old US policy, as Obama himself
has acknowledged.

The United States helped Cuba turn into a “universal icon of struggle
and resistance in favor of the interests of the South”. Cuban
intelligence took this position masterfully, in order to focus its
foreign policy on an international emporium of propaganda whose
effectiveness is worthy of study by experts in the field.

Havana managed to bring the debates in all international forums to its
own approach of innocent victim of the hegemonic interests of the
neighboring superpower. “The small island that achieves outstanding
indicators of indicators and and flies the flag of
solidarity as a principle” captured the hearts of millions of young, and
not so young, people across the planet.

The Cuban Executive has never been forced to talk about what was
actually happening in the country on issues of rights, participation and
democracy. The argument of the blockade has also represented the
backbone of the internal propaganda. A population without political or
civic culture deprived from access to free information for three
generations and plunged into a deep economic and values crisis is the
perfect environment for manipulation.

Some propose the argument that this change will result in a flow of
resources to the Cuban government. I think that those resources always
came in dissimilar ways, just as the nearly 3,000 billion annual
remittances did. If these resources would have had been transformed into
and businesses resources, they would have brought a different

However, other emerging powers, with very different values, are always
willing to supply the means and resources that the Cuban government
needs in order to control and repress, because Cuba is an indispensable
agent for the expansion of these economies and their geopolitical
interests in the area.

Isolation is the most confortable position for a totalitarian regime. Or
is there someone that believes that North Korea is about to achieve
? is not the result of a decision made by a government,
of a negotiation, or of the signing of a treaty or law. Freedom is a
mental condition, a state of mind, a life expectation, a natural
conviction, a principle and an everyday practice. Without an internal
transformation of the thinking, formation and culture of Cubans, it will
never be possible to exercise real freedom.

With a dependent population, who survives thanks to what it receives
from the regime or what it steals from work, a sense of independence and
individual power, which are basic premises of every liberating action,
will never grow and develop. Therefore it is vital to support
entrepreneurship, creativity and self-management; the exchange between
producers, professionals, teachers, artists, housewives, students, and
so on.

A small population cannot openly interact with a different world without
suffering changes. That is absurd. I share the idea of a new approach
that focuses on the people and not on their rulers, who are definitively
not going to change now that they are in their nineties and covered with

The role to be played by civil society activists and the political
opposition in this new scenario will depend largely on their ability to
adapt to a new context and evolve, by looking for new ways of
self-management and by basing the survival or success of their projects
in terms of the support achieved by citizens, within or outside Cuba.

A more open political game can largely benefit civil society, if it does
not waste time crying over what is already a reality and rather decide
to “turn on their batteries” to take benefit from the possible
advantages that can arise from these new winds of change.

Today we have a clearer path to focus on the issues that we want to
promote and develop. The US policy never favored the civil society or
the opposition. The Government will get away with it if it locates the
forces of civil society as obstacles for progress and welfare, by taking
advantage of the limited notion that the majority of Cubans have about
these two goals. That is a luxury we cannot afford.

Source: A necessary and useful change –

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