Reports from Cuba: Virtual Reality?

By Fernando Damaso in Translating Cuba:

Virtual Reality?

When I hear some of our nation’s leaders talk about the Republican era — and many of officials repeat what they say — I get the impression the country was one vast wasteland, without an education or public health system, without highways, aqueducts, sewers, water mains, electricity, telephones, hospitals, schools, factories, businesses, cinemas, theaters or many other things.

Could it be that our towns and cities were a highly developed virtual reality? Does what we see today, now all quite dilapidated, not exist before 1959?

In reality it all existed. Furthermore, it was in even better condition than today and was continually getting better. When you have no important accomplishments to your credit but rather only a series of failures, you must deny the existence of everything that came before, which allows you to pretend you were starting from scratch. Then whatever you have done, good or bad, becomes the sole reality. That is what we have tried to convince the younger generation, who have no firsthand experience of the Republican years.

When we ourselves were young, we were  proud of our country. We respected the national anthem, the flag and the coat of arms. We were aware that not everything was perfect or even worked well, but we tried to improve things and, most importantly, we did not leave Cuba. The only aspiration of today’s younger generations is to emigrate to some other part of the world where they can realize their personal goals. They have lost any hope of being able to solve all the many problems which have accumulated over the years. This is the reality, and not the virtual kind.

I remember a scandal from the Republican era that involved an intoxicated US Navy seaman desecrating the statue of José Martí in Havana’s Central Park. Today, some Cubans use this site and the doorways of the surrounding buildings as a public urinal, mainly at night, in the face of widespread public indifference. Anyone wishing to verify this need only take a stroll through the area in the early hours of the morning. In reality there is much that has been lost, and not just material things.

When historical continuity is severed and whole eras are distorted or swept aside, you get the situation we have in Cuba today. The country is no longer of interest to most of its citizens. Everyone carves out his own little personal corner and adapts it to meet his needs, forgetting about everyone else.

1 thought on “Reports from Cuba: Virtual Reality?”

  1. Cuba was not only destroyed; it was “disappeared,” like effacing people from old photos, a classic Soviet ploy . It’s sort of like a girl being raped and then painted as if she’d been a whore to begin with, so that, as per Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make? But the massive, systematic and deliberate falsification of what Cuba was before 1959 is by no means confined to the island or the Castro regime; it’s been an international endeavor involving all manner of non-Cuban useful idiots, fellow travelers and perversely twisted characters.

    We’re not talking about something like North Korea claiming its “Dear Leader” performed spectacularly at golf the first time he ever tried it, which nobody outside the cult would ever buy. We’re talking about taking practically everything Castro, Inc. puts out at face value, or at the very least giving it the benefit of the doubt, something that is NOT done even for infinitely more respectable and legitimate governments, especially non-leftist ones. This seemingly mindless swallowing of official information would NEVER happen with any dictatorial regime perceived as right-wing. In other words, regardless of motivation or intent, there is effectively GLARING collusion or complicity with the Castro regime’s “narrative,” PR, propaganda, spin or whatever you wish to call it–and this has been the case from the beginning of the “revolution.”

    Naturally, people too dim, lazy, shallow and/or indifferent to analyze critically, dig, probe or challenge the party line simply absorb and duly regurgitate it, like trained parrots, and the lies and distortions continue unabated. The root of all evil is not money; it’s lies of one kind or another, which is why Satan is known as the Father of Lies. All totalitarian systems are based on lies and cannot function without them. Thus, aiding and abetting the Castro “narrative” is the same as giving the regime material support. The New York Times, for instance, is just as complicit with Castro, Inc. as Venezuela, and it’s even more immoral because it’s less honest about it.

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