Delusions of Sovereignty
Delusions of Sovereignty / Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on July 3, 2015
Reinaldo Escobar, 28 June 2015 – Despite nationalist excesses that have
reached the official Cuban discourse, to some it seems that the
Government should be even more intransigent in defense of the
sovereignty of the country. Stigmatizers of everything foreign, these
individuals end up boasting of a chauvinism that is more ridiculous than
They are the ones who don’t understand that the Island’s boxers no
longer use head protectors, to obey the dictates of this sport that the
authorities have labeled profitable and where, “The spectacle is more
important than the health of the athletes.” In their isolationist
delusions, perhaps one day they will propose not accepting that the
volleyball net or the basketball hoop be at the height determined by
nations where the average stature is a few inches higher than in Cuba.
Perhaps they would also ban aluminum bats, swords and foils, racquets,
goals, kimonos and even the universal rules in force in competitions
among athletes? Would they only practice those sports hypothetically
native to this archipelago?
Who can rule out that one day these defenders of uncompromising autonomy
will propose the elimination of the study of classic universal arts,
both in music and plastic arts or in literature. The original would
sweep away references to a Renaissance that occurred thousands of miles
away, an Ernest Hemingway who wrote in the language of “the enemy” or a
Beethoven born no more and no less than in the far off city of Bonn.
A few steps further in the sovereign obfuscation would lead to
discarding the metric system and formulating another, one hundred
percent Cuban, never more to abide by the strict norms of foreign
organizations that certify weights, balances and measures. Ah…! And the
hurricanes of every season would be baptized in Cuba, so as not to
comply with any list of names for those meteorological phenomena imposed
by international entities.
Why should we accept standards promoted by consumer societies for the
packaging of medicines and foods exported from the country? What an
affront it is for these anti-hegemonic extremists to dredge the bays in
order to allow the entry of larger foreign ships! If they could decide
the aeronautic norms, who knows if they would prohibit national planes
from being governed by the strict security measures promulgated by other
Taking it further, it is even possible to ask oneself: What sovereignty
are we talking about when national currency (the Cuban peso) has a value
that depends on its equivalence with foreign currency? Television,
moreover, uses transmission codes not invented by Cuban engineers.
Meanwhile, in bars, restaurants and hotels they struggle to achieve
international standards to satisfy the whims of tourists, who should
just enjoy our tastes and customs.
Even the scientific studies to conserve our nature signify an offense
for the Robinson Crusoes of nationalism. Because they obey patterns
emerging from environmental movements lacking Cuban roots. Not to
mention the boxes of cigars we consume and export, containing our
glorified aboriginal tobacco that today carries health warnings that
foreign authorities have demanded on the product.
If they were consistent with so much ostentatious “Cubanness,” in the
field of computer science they would prohibit operating systems with a
“well-thought out design foreign to our traditions.” In the provision of
healthcare, they would oppose any foreign device, such as Computed
Tomography (CT), ultrasound machines or catheters introduced into the
arteries. They would undoubtedly resist the growing influence that
permeates our science with those academics invited to the Palace of
Conventions and awarded prizes that are not promulgated in this country.
Even in the Revolutionary terminology intolerable concessions have been
made, or so these promoters of the most uncouth isolationism think
furiously. There is no longer any talk of the mass organizations as
“transmission poles of the illustrious guidance of the Party,” but
rather of some anodyne entities of civil society, stripped of their
classist content and whose nomenclature is copied from theories born
outside this island.
Luckily, as we have “our own democracy,” they can breathe a sigh of
relief. As a single point for boasts of their endocentrism they can say
there is only one party, whose leadership is established by a
constitutional provision, and a socialism that does not depend on the
dogmas coming from Europe, “But on what we judge socialism should be.”
Fortunately, they roar filled with pride, “We have our own
interpretation of Human Rights that we don’t subject to a supposed
universal rule, uniform and hegemonic.”
However, to achieve their delusions of sovereignty they will have to
implant the use of another language that doesn’t depend on the rules of
others and enact laws that do not appear anywhere else, and finally, as
a glorification of absolute independence, manage to isolate and
reproduce a national DNA, our own, singular and above all, superior.
Source: Delusions of Sovereignty / Reinaldo Escobar | Translating Cuba –