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Cuba Posible – The Same Old Challenges

Cuba Posible: The Same Old Challenges
FRANCISCO ALMAGRO DOMÍNGUEZ | Miami | 3 Jun 2016 – 8:48 pm.

On May 26 the “Cuba and Its Current Challenges event was held in New
York, organized by the Cuba Posible Laboratorio de Ideas and sponsored
by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) at a facility belonging
to the Open Society Foundation and with funding provided by it.

In four panels, made up mainly of Cubans, both living on the island and
forming part of the diaspora, aspirations for development through 2030
were discussed, along with the quality of social change, welfare, equity
and justice, how global political figures view Cuba, and, finally, if
the alleged changes in Cuba hinge on power, knowledge or the agents

The most interesting aspect of the event was its diversity, with
divergent and even conflicting points of view expressed by those who
participated. Before it had even begun, however, the regime’s official
blogosphere (the only one officially permitted) had already condemned
the forum. Diversity and divergent ideas have always been anathema to
dictatorial systems of thought. The WOLA, a self-financed organization
with a long record of struggle in favor of lifting the and
cooperating to improve relations between Cuba and the US, was dismissed
for being as “dangerous” as the Open Society Foundation, the
ultra-powerful liberal foundation created and headed up by George Soros.

With the arrogant language that characterizes all totalitarian thinking,
Cuba’s digital firing squads – avengers in the shadows – saw in the
participants, sponsors and financiers “CIA agents,” “specialists in
subversion” and “old friends of the (Cuban American National
Foundation.)” Thus, they were able to tar with the same brush the likes
of Carmelo Mesa-Lago, the most important living Cuban economist, who
lives in exile; Rafael Hernández, director of the magazine Temas and a
defender of the regime, who lives on the island; and Carlos Saladrigas,
a Cuban-American millionaire businessman, who, after having fought the
regime head-on, now promotes cooperation with the Government to promote
investments in the island and improve the lives of his compatriots.

Also suffering digital assassination – never in open, clean debates
featuring fair, equal conditions – were groups and people living on the
island, who defended the lifting of the embargo, and dialogue. The
execution of prestige knows no ethical or political limits, even
including the three ambassadors participating, among them the American
Jeffrey DeLaurentis. All were accused of meddling in the internal
affairs of the island when, one by one, before sharing any ideas, they
recognized that they were constrained precisely by their roles as
diplomats. Everything seems to indicate, based on the exaggerations,
lies and paranoia of those present in New York, that more than medals
and awards are necessary.

We can agree or disagree with the positions of Cuba Posible, derided by
all sides with all kinds of epithets. But what one can hardly accuse the
group headed by Roberto Veiga and Lenier González of is leaning to one
side. Perhaps in its insular idiosyncrasy lies the dilemma.

Cuba Posible has opted to take a line that seeks the center, and many
believe, on the island and off it, that this is impossible. The center
for them is suspect, betrayal and apostasy. Cuba Posible proposes a Cuba
beyond exclusionary ideologies, and that is unthinkable to some because
there is no room in their minds for ideas that are not their own, for
the social and private spheres to coexist at the same time, for State
control and the entrepreneur. Cuba Posible proposes a Cuba like the
group assembled in New York: as diverse in its ideas as in its races,
genders and countries. And that, for others, is impossible because to
think about Cuba one must live “inside,” or as if he lived there.

Cuba Posible was in New York, the same city where the Cuban flag was
designed, and where Jose Martí lived half of his life, and wrote almost
all his work, and where Father Félix was on the verge of becoming
an auxiliary bishop. The city that served to raise funds for the wars of
independence and the struggle against the Batista dictatorship. But for
certain people New York is nothing more than the nest of the imperial
eagle and its hegemonic ambitions. And, as the media holds power, thus
far deploying an of digital guerrillas, it is hard for everyday
Cubans to see New York as anything else.

We do not know the “past that awaits” Cuba Posible. Most likely, it will
implode, as there is enough dynamite placed at its bases to destroy it
from within. The order just needs to be given. An order that suspended,
some believe, because Cuba Posible has ties to important businessmen,
figures on the left, and men and foundations with a long humanitarian
tradition that might be useful given the looming chaos. The challenges
facing Cuba Posible are the same ones always facing Cubans: overcoming
personal interests, those craving recognition and dollars, and a Cuba
embodied by men whose plans forsake the common good.

The challenge facing Cuba Posible today, to avoid chaos and bloodshed in
Cuba, may be the same as that facing Father Félix Varela and Jose Martí
in the 19th century: the irreconcilable differences between Cubans
themselves. Thus, the struggle of any reconciliation project is not only
against a ruthless power, but also a known and all-too-close enemy. The
real, very tough battle will always be against Cubans themselves: hidden
in the shadows, collaborators with those in power, the same people who
let the one who taught us to think die of sorrow in St. Augustine, and
used the apostle as a target in Dos Ríos.

Source: Cuba Posible: The Same Old Challenges | Diario de Cuba –

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