Ten prognostications, ten failures, ten predictions that did not even make it to a dead letter. This is what a Decalogue of possible future prognostications — personal and national — that would have been made in 2003 has been reduced to. Such that, knowing the twisted paths events take, today I am trying to imagine the surprises in store for us in the next decade. I know — at least I know this — it will be difficult, very difficult times are coming for everyone. To forget, as we go to bed one night, the huge problems we do indeed have, and pretend we will wake up to another day, isn’t going to happen. It’s very naive to believe we can shake off this totalitarianism and all that will result from it. It’s not going to happen, new problems and new challenges will begin. Are we prepared for them?
Are we prepared for a society where the responsibility lies with us and not with the State? A country where we can choose a president, but where he could perhaps turn out to be corrupt, a liar, an authoritarian? Are we capable of realizing, in that case, that we voted to name a “father,” rather than a public servant who answers to us? How long will it take for us to lose our suspicions about everything that contains the world “social” or about the unions, who today are simply transmission poles for the powers-that-be to the workers? Are we ready for tolerance? Can we live together peacefully with those of other political viewpoints and ideologies who take the microphones and propose their programs? Will our inexperience, perhaps,l launch us into the arms of the next populist? Are we aware that we will experience a Cuba where, most likely, there will be a lot of nostalgia for the Castro regime? What will we do if, instead of real change, those who are now part of the Nomenklatura exchange their olive-green uniforms for the suits and ties of entrepreneurship?
How will we react to immigration? Right now we only know the phenomenon of those who leave and also those visitors who — briefly — come as tourists to our land. However, we must know that if we manage to build a prosperous country, others will come to stay. How will we receive them? What will be the effects of so many years of shortages and rationing on personal consumption? Will families put themselves deeply in debt buying everything they see on TV? How will we resolve the dilemma of State property versus privatization? Will it be possible to maintain the extensive educational and hospital infrastructure throughout the country, while improving its quality, breaking the bonds of ideology, and paying employees dignified salaries? What will happen to the enormous governmental and official apparatus, whose costs fall on our shoulders to an extent we can barely conceive of?
As you can see, rather than certainties, I only have questions. Questions that haunt me when I speak of the future of my nation. At least some things are clear to me: I will be in Cuba, I will do everything I can to help my country and will try — through journalism — to dispel many of these doubts or to amplify them until someone responds.