Cuba in Crisis: The Reality of Society under Dictatorship – A Report by La Vanguardia

2023-06-02 11:08:00

MIAMI.- A significant report on the reality of society in Cubawithout clearly mentioning the main culprit, the dictatorship, is published by the Spanish newspaper The vanguardprobably the best exponent of objective journalism in Spain.

titled Cuba sinks into oblivion, the revolution failed and signed by a correspondent based in Washington DC, Fernando García, the text addresses some of the economic hardships of Cubans and even indicates that, after long years of waiting, the prevailing option is to “go abroad.”

“Cuba does not produce enough sugar even to supply the meager quotas of the ration card or basket. The island will have to import large quantities of the product that for centuries made it great and now, with a harvest close to that of the war of independence, embarrasses it”, commented the editor.

Regarding the suspension of the always-awaited Game of the Stars of Cuban baseball, he stated that “the problem is not only that there are not enough baseball stars on the island because many have emigrated, it is that there are no balls, there are no bats and at key moments they have not even uniforms.

Then he continues: “It is not in vain that Cuba is experiencing an unprecedented migratory crisis reminiscent of that of the rafters in 1994. Last year, the number of Cubans who entered the United States by land pulverized previous sad records by approaching 300,000. And another 6,182 escapees they left the island by sea in fiscal year 2022. An exodus of biblical proportions. In addition, some 3,000 Cubans have been deported from this promised land so far this year. Another 30,000 have received travel authorization through the “parole” procedure. But in the queue to obtain that special visa there are more than 380,000 applications” in a country where the population now barely exceeds 11 million.

“The crisis that my country is going through is worse than that of the 1990s”, caused by the fall of the Soviet Union and its large amounts of aid. This is the opinion of the emeritus professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and one of the best connoisseurs of Cuba’s finances, Carmelo Mesa-Lago.

“The situation,” he added in a telephone conversation, “is the worst there since the Great Depression” of 1929.

For a few months now, the shortage is especially noticeable in two shortcomings that have made life for Cubans even more difficult than it had been before the pandemic hit: the fuel crisis and the virtual disappearance of meat pig.

The report pointed out that medical care, the jewel of the so-called revolution, “continues to be better than that of neighboring countries. In fact, the number of doctors for every 10,000 inhabitants, about 90, is the highest in the area”, but he does not mention that hospitals can hardly care for patients due to lack of medicines, sheets, beds or health products.

García partly blames the “US embargo” and mentions “but without a doubt also the errors of the Government”, although he does not specify that the so-called embargo, which prevents obtaining bank credits, allows the purchase of necessary products in cash.

It would be useful for Mr. García to know the details of both responsibilities: that a country reserves the right to grant credits to whoever it wants and that a 64-year-old dictatorship, like the Cuban one, did not have and does not have the capacity or interest to throw out a country ahead.

It is worth acknowledging that Garcia mentions that “much more important are the nearly 7,000 million dollars that Cubans receive from their relatives abroad, half in cash and half in kind, thanks to the establishment in Miami and other cities of stores where Anyone can buy clothes, food or medicine that their loved ones on the island receive the next day”.

In other words, “it is the Cubans who save the Cubans. But not within the country, where the government and system are ineffective.”

Meanwhile, “dissidence and protests, which with great difficulty persist after the violent repression of the revolt of July 11, 2021, have not yet germinated into a movement capable of forcing real change.”

Later he asks: “As for the exterior. Who remembers Cuba? Which international governments support and help Cubans and to what extent?

Support and help would come better if you thought about something other than bank loans, which are rarely paid, food, medicine and oil.

There are countries, like Spain, that see Cuba as a great opportunity to invest ‘something’, at the cost of insufficient labor rights and the opportunity of extremely low wages that benefit both the investor and the Cuban government that, as mediator and feudal lord , decide what to do, where and how much profit to receive from the investment project.

If something is missing, it is international solidarity to end a dictatorship that turns 65 in January.

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