Prognosis uncertain


“The impasse is the dynamics of deterioration,” my friend said, part philosophic part pessimistic after listening to Raul Castro’s speech in the National Assembly yesterday. The rope of our prognostications had not stretched tight waiting for a possible announcement of changes, but we had some expectation around certain long-promised measures. However, on pronouncing the official words to close out 2009, the second Party secretary seemed to be hanging more on the brake than the rudder, more cautious than enterprising, far more conservative than daring.

Our parliamentarians, for their part, again lost the chance to ask uncomfortable questions, to oppose a ballot, or engage in heated discussions. They may have let the last opportunity go by to impel an opening from above and to break with this image of the mute chorus they have shown for more than three decades. The debates that took place in the Palace of Conventions, which were shown on television, seemed to happen in a distant country, a country with enough time to defer—over and over again—the needed transformations. Not even the euphemism of “updating the economic system” included the most important demands of the weighty popular agenda.

In this fourth regular session, they didn’t even clarify the name of the new year*, the growth in GDP, though reduced, still seems inflated to us, and there is a threat of future cuts that nobody will confirm. Despite certain pragmatic turns of phrase delivered in the final speech, volunteerism and orders handed down from above continue to shape the principal strategy for governing the country. So, the parliamentarians continually lose importance because the master plan is cooked up in one office alone, and endorsed with barely a pair of signatures. I would not be surprised if in February or March they implement a package of cuts and adjustments, which will not be passed through the hands of even these—highly complacent—deputies.

In the middle of next year the National Assembly will meet again to applaud—their usual dose of complicity and silence.

Translator’s note
The name of the year: The Cuban regime names each year. For example 1961 was “The Year of Education.”


61 thoughts on “Prognosis uncertain

  1. I opened my Inbox this morning and was surprised to find an email from Yoani Sanchez thanking me for the donation I had made using the ‘How to Help’ feature several weeks ago. Completely unexpected but very much appreciated.

    What I wish for Yoani and her fellow bloggers is continued liberty in 2010 and a greater measure of freedom for the Cuban people. Feliz Navidad.

  2. Cortometraje sobre la protesta de los estudiantes del Instituto Superior de Arte de la Habana el 22 de octubre del 2009

    Short film of the student protests of the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana October 22

    Thanks to Joel Garcia of the blog “Un Cubano in Canarias” (A Cuban in The Canary Islands)
    Gracias a Joel Garcia del blog “Un Cubano in Canarias” (A Cuban in The Canary Islands)

  3. Cubano

    Nobody will make Cuba be anything
    Cuba will be what the Cubans want her to be

    Here you have Fidel Castro he said he wanted communism and socialism for Cuba

    Cubans created sociolism

    you see people do what they think not what they are force to do.

    as for this

    “I was able to enjoy my people, my country my friends my neighbours, and enjoy to the fullest being out on carnaval until sunrise, the music the beers the food the people, mi raza…Parrandas de Cabairien, Remedios la vida misma…find anything like that in your new freedom…actually I was free in Cuba…that is gone now.
    America is the most hipocritical, puritane and unjust country in the so called civilized world.
    If this is what you want for Cuba, I hope you fail, like you will…you are only but on handful of people here and Yoani, corageus, but negative of her own reality and life.
    Cuba will be better, but not your negative and hateful way. You are full of hate.
    Viva Cuba.”

    Nobody have you tight or chain to this country or any country. Maybe you should consider going back to Cuba. Please remember your brothers in prison. Those that Fidel Castro has place there for thinking different.

    You are not the first to mentioned that Yoani seems Negative.
    I think is the other way around I think she is positive since I believe
    she is critical because she may still think is possible for the system to change, to solve the problems they have. But we know they do not care to solve those problems the normal Cubans have because those are not their problems.
    Their problem is how to hold on to power one more year
    five more years, ten more years. Those are the problems they are interested in solving.
    I do not see anyone been hateful towards Cuba here.
    Do not confuse Cuba with the Cuban regime
    we have explained multiple times it is not the same.

    Viva Cuba libre para todos!

  4. About your sexuality , that is your own choice and deserved the respect of every one. I had family and friends who choose that way of live , and I love them the same way, I always did. That is not a question . That is your right as a human been . The right that Castro denied to every Cubano I know. I remember went I was growing up a young boy of may barrio was send to the UMAT in Camaguey because he was homosexual.

  5. Probably your living in the wrong side of this big country because in here MD in Montgomery County , you have to recycle every thing. I have been in almost all the states on the east coast and most of them have the recycling program. Cubano what did you say about what happen on Laguna de la leche , or la sienaga de Zapata. Or the bay of moa . Have you seen the pic images talk more than words.

  6. The problem w/ Cubano is he may be here but his soul still slave by the system, he left behind in Cuba our CUBA no the CUBA of Fidel .Who give that right to F.Castro? That is way I said that he has not free his brain .F.Castro do no OWN CUBA, Even a little more Cubano we pay for that school went we labor on the field planting tobacco or citric. Nothing was free. Here you got choices , and is after you to be smart and choose right.

  7. cubano:
    Welcome back … silence can be deafening sometimes.
    No matter where you go, where you are you’ll always be a cubano.
    Once you decided on the course of your life … there is were you’ll always strive to be.
    Your sexual preference is not important to me, there is not even room for judgement.
    Nevertheless I don’t think it can be used as a tool in justifing attitudes or shoring up positions.
    Like it or not we are subject to the consecuences of our choices & our actions.
    Good or bad, right or wrong we live in a world coloured by perceptions, first impressions and judgement.
    Here we are (I like to believe) people of second chances; where there is the gift of benefit of doubt exercised by choice free choice.
    So pleas: euse your God given talents without anger but with passion, use the freedom you have to build in OUR future while retaining your individuality.
    The teacher that saved you … did he save you? or did he save a principle since it was the right thing to do? … get it?
    Hope I am not offending you … if so please accept my apologies.

  8. This is the great mistake

    ” in the Cuba of Fidel”

    Fidel made.

    Cuba is not his

    that is the biggest issue we have with them.

    Cuba belongs to each and every Cuban independent of political position.
    The streets of Cuba are for every Cuban not for just Fidel.

    He will be gone sooner or later and will be forgotten by some, adore by others and hated by others but he will be gone.

    Cuba will still be there and Cuba will be free.

  9. Hey Cubano you are back.

    I thought you will not come back here you said so yourself. I guess people are entitled to make mistakes! I really do not understand you. If you love so much Cuba how it is now, why did you go?
    Why did you have to go outside? Or is it that outside you really discover that you actually love Cuba more?

    As to the black and white comment we did not invented it. It was Fidel Castro who created it when he said “With the revolution everything without the revolution nothing”. There you have it, that is black and white for you and as for “And we are not America we are different, and yes we drink and party without prejudice and bull like here”. How about political prejudice? Where you are not allowed to speak or be critical of the system? Or otherwise you may lose your employment or your studies just for talking? (You say so yourself). Hey I wished things in Cuba were as simple as you portrait them, that solutions will come like you seem to believe they do. But unfortunately the reality is another. “a communist teacher of mine got me out of prison after 20 days” do you think we can get that teacher to defend the many in prison by political issues and get them out in 20 days?

    As for “Yoani is who she is now because of the communist system, she can not deny that, no choice, but she is an educated an intelligent free human being…and it was the Cuba of Fidel that gave her that, and she is still free…I know Boricuas still in prison for fighting for their independence, I have work to get them free, some of them have been more than 20 year political prisoners of the imperio.”

    Wow, let me see if I can address it. Yes I think you are right.

    Yoani is who she is for the negative of the regime to let her travel.

    Yoani is who she is for the regime refusing to listen and solving the problems and issues she writes about.

    Yes she is who she is for the negative of the Cuban president to answer simple questions from a citizen of his country.

    I do not think Fidel Castro gave anything to Yoani. The education was not given by Fidel Castro. Was given by the people of Cuba by her parents the same Yoani is now defending against oppression so that they do not have to abandon their homeland and be free in their own country. Yoani would have been smart in any place. That’s not something Fidel Castro can give.

    As for “the Boricuas in prison”. Wow man you sure are something how about your brothers, I am talking about all the Cubans that are in prison by the regime? Do you fight for their freedom? In the same way that teacher of yours fought for your freedom?
    Cuban political prisoners are the prisoners with longer sentences than those 20 years. Why since you seem to love your Cuba so much. Why don’t you talk about them?

Comments are closed.