Double Standards and Cuban Politicians
Unfortunately for Humanity, double standards and politics are two almost inseparable elements. For centuries on end, good practices in this field have been tarnished by scandalous alliances, betrayals, conspiracies, and all kinds of illegal activities, which always enrich some people at the expense of others.
However, I don’t believe this has been going on for so long in any country in the world as it has here in Cuba.
A few days ago, we saw our president Miguel Diaz-Canel at the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris, where he blamed the global economic crisis on the lack of democracy in the world’s financial organizations. It was in his interest to point out that his country doesn’t have access to credit from any international organization, but he meddles with democracy while he is, in fact, the least democratic there.
It’s another meeting where leaders regularly give hollow speeches that end in nothing, but cost a lot, because every one of these summits has a hefty security and logistical team, yet not a single problem is solved.
The Cuban leader had so much nerve that after criticizing all of these institutions to death, he then proceeded to ask for greater loans in “technology transfer”, as well as credits already agreed with the European Union, Iran, Russia, etc.
Technology that isn’t used to develop the country but is rather for his and his entourage’s own use, to help repress and spy on their own citizens. There’s technology to do the latter, but none available to make bread or milk.
Opposition leader Jose Daniel Ferrer felt the force of this technology. He has been held prisoner since August 14, 2021, and in a punishment cell since March 6th, half-naked and exposed to any bloodsucker, in underwear and deplorable conditions, so deplorable that he didn’t even want to hug his son when he was finally allowed to see him, after being denied family visits on more than one occasion.
According to his family, he only left prison to go the Hospital in Santiago de Cuba to get an infected wisdom tooth taken out, but they took a healthy one out instead. A naïve person might think this was just a coincidence or human error, but Jose Daniel himself said that a State Security agent mocked him and told him that he could have saved himself all of this suffering if he’d just agreed to leave the county, so we can dismiss the first hypothesis. The medicines his family manage to get him never reach him, a man who risked his life during the COVID-19 pandemic to share medicines with fellow citizens.
Luckily, news of his case has traveled the world, and let’s hope he finally gets his freedom back.
A livestream by a South African YouTuber also went viral, in which he was appalled at the state of Havana, not the Cuba of hotels and tourists, but the real Cuba with real Cubans. In his own words, he felt like he was in a city that was bombed 50 years ago and never rebuilt.
I don’t like an ugly picture of my country being painted, but it’s the truth. Tourists’ photos are very beautiful, but our day-to-day isn’t at all idyllic.
They want to change everything outside its own borders, but here everything is continuity and ratification, nothing different is being done to even improve the horrifying housing situation on the island, which according to vice-president Manuel Marrero, is the result of a self-blockade, a new word for the Cuban nomenclature’s dictionary. We just have to ask ourselves who is doing the blockading, the person who produces four cement blocks when they should be making 10? The citizen who can’t import cement or trunnels on their own? Or the ones responsible for approving building licenses? Let’s stop asking ourselves so many this’s and why that’s, and let’s think about how we can fix our problems,” he said.
He added that they need to go into people’s homes and live these experiences firsthand. It’s incredible! The day he really does this, he’ll resign, if he has a shred of shame left.
By the way, the technical director of the Electricity Company, Lazaro Guerra, had zero shame on national TV when he asked Cubans to reduce their consumption. It’s easier to ask people to continue to tighten their belts, those that can, because I know lots of people who have air conditioning and can’t use it as they should because their wages go flying on paying the electricity bill. I don’t think Diaz-Canel and Marrero regulate their energy consumption at home. Any political leader’s dream, even at a neighborhood level, is for their people to have a better life with each day that passes, not to give everything up.
Or the deputy minister of the Food and Fishing Industry, Marlene Rosabal Sanchez, who said that even though we are surrounded by the sea, we don’t have enough fish to satisfy our population’s demand. In other words, the waters that surround Russia, for example, have enough fish to feed its 143 million inhabitants, but there aren’t enough in the Caribbean to feed the approximately 10 million Cubans left on the island today. Every now and again, we read, see or hear that fishing company X, Y or Z surpassed their catching targets of shrimp, lobster or anything else, but it seems they’re going to look for them in Africa, if we pay heed to Mrs. Rosabal’s words.
In the past few days, U.S. sales to Cuba were officially published: 86 million dollars in food and agricultural products, only until April. It seems we can’t even produce the chicken or root vegetables we need.
July 11th is drawing near; nobody knows what is going to happen but I’m sure lots of “technology” will be deployed on the streets that day. Anyway, it’s the same double standards as always.