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realclearworld

Reports from Cuba: A Real Blockade

By Fernando Damaso in Translating Cuba:

A Real Blockade

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-M8ph4e1MGAQ/UWISsJB6TnI/AAAAAAAAMoc/Y3zYhhSznmE/s640/cuentapropistas-cuba-ambulants-deambulants-L-DrufHF.jpg

To update, in one of its many meanings, means to put in tune with the times. It updates the valued, that which, having demonstrated its effectiveness, should be retained, although infused with new spirit or, what is similar, provided with renewed energy. It wouldn’t occur to anybody to update the obsolete, whose properties have been superseded by development, because updating cost far more than replacement with something new, which is much more efficient.

In the case of the so-called “Cuban upgrade” some inconsistencies occur: first, it’s trying to update the archaic, the failed, which throughout its existence has demonstrated its practical infeasibility, and also this updating is carried out “at the speed of the burial of the rich” — slowly — and plagued with absurd restrictions that reduce its effectiveness for oxygenating the dying national economy, “straitjacketing” it even more, making it hard for it to breathe. This is the stark reality.

None of the measures taken so far — most simple legalizations of what has been being done illegally for years — have represented improvements for the ordinary citizen, much less an economic boom. Moreover, they haven’t even offered stable solutions for many of the main problems, such as food, which is becoming more precarious and more expensive every day. Actually “there has been a lot more heat than light,” notwithstanding the usual triumphalist declarations, which we are so accustomed to.

The fact is that what we need is not an “upgrade” but a “change.” What doesn’t work should be replaced by something that does work, or at least that has proven to be better. If we don’t abandon the “ideological hoax” and the eternal empty slogans, we will never get out of the impasse to which we’ve been brought. We are simply continuing to enmesh ourselves in the unbearable tangle of these fifty-four years, with no present and no future, living in the past, clinging now to some “generic guidelines,” that try to say a lot without actually saying anything.

Change is an urgent need, both economically as well as politically and socially. Without it the way continues to be blocked, and this is a real blockade.

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