The Collapse

Raul Castro, in the presence of Barack Obama, chides a journalist who asks about political prisoners on the island. (EFE)

Raul Castro, in the presence of Barack Obama, chides a journalist who asks about political prisoners on the island. (EFE)

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 26 April 2016 – In films there are final epics. Systems whose final moments pass between the sound of the hammers tearing down a wall and the roar of thousands of people in a plaza. The Castro regime, however, is going through its death throes without glorious images or collective heroics. Its mediocre denouement has become clearer in recent months, in the signs of collapse that can no longer be hidden behind the trappings of the official discourse.

The epilogue of this process, once called Revolution, is strewn with ridiculous and banal events, but they are, indeed, clear symptoms of the end. Like a bad movie with a hurried script and the worst actors, the scenes illustrating the terminal state of this twentieth century fossil seem worthy of a tragicomedy:

  • Raul Castro erupts in fury at a press conference when asked about the existence of political prisoners in Cuba, he gets entangled in his earphones and comes out with some rigmarole a few feet from Barack Obama, who looks like the owner and master of the situation.
  • After the visit of the United States president, the government media releases all their rage at him, while Barack Obama’s speech in the Great Theater of Havana is number one on the list of audiovisual materials most requested in the Weekly Packet.
  • Two Cuban police officers arrive in uniform on the beaches of Florida, after having navigated in a makeshift raft with other illegal migrants who helped them escape from Cuba.
  • A group of Little Pioneers, dressed in their school uniforms and neckerchiefs, contort in sexually explicit movements to the rhythm of reggaeton at an elementary school. They are filmed by an adult and the video is uploaded to the social networks by a proud father who thinks his son is a dance genius.
  • Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accuses Obama of having perpetrated an attack on “our conception, our history, our culture and our symbols” a few days after receiving him at the airport and without having fearlessly said any of these criticisms to his face.
  • An obscure official at the Cuban embassy in Spain says in a chat with “friends of the Revolution” that this is “the most difficult moment and its history,” and calls the coverage of Obama’s visit in the foreign media as a “display of an unparalleled cultural, psychological and media war.”
  • Raul Castro is unanimously reelected as first secretary of the Communist Party for the next five years and choses stagnation. Thus, he loses the last chance to pass into the history books for a gesture of generosity to the nation, as late as it might be, instead of for his personal egoism.
  • Fidel Castro appears at the Congress’s closing ceremony, sheathed in an Adidas jacket, and insists that “we not continue, as in the times of Adam and Eve, eating forbidden apples.”
  • A few days after the end of the Party Congress, the government announces a laughable reduction in prices to try to raise fallen spirits. Now, an engineer no longer has to work two-and-a-half days to buy one quart of cooking oil, he only has to work two days.
  • Thousands of Cubans throng the border between Panama and Costa Rica trying to continue their journey to the United States, without the government of the island investing a single penny to help them have a roof over their heads, a little food and medical care.
  • An economist who explained to the world the benefits of Raul Castro’s reforms and their progress, is expelled from the University of Havana for maintaining contacts with representatives from the United States and passing on information about the procedures of the academic center.
  • Two young people make love in the middle of the San Rafael Boulevard in plain view of dozens of onlookers who film the scene and shout obscene incitements, but the police never arrive. The basic clay of the Revolution escapes in the individual and collective libido.

The credits start to run and in the room where this lousy film is being shown only a few viewers remain. Some grew tired and left, others slept through the long wait, a few monitor the aisles and demand loud applause from the still occupied seats. An old man is trying to feed a new, interminable, filmstrip through the projector… but there is nothing left. Everything is over. All that’s left is for the words “The End” to appear on the screen.

53 thoughts on “The Collapse

  1. Humberto,

    Cuba’s per capita income is rated at 112% or slightly better than half of nations in the world. The average income of Cubans increased from 2014. US rating company claims it is now near 600 CUC. Cuban economy is growing at 4% annually

  2. Humberto,

    For the same reason that there is no leftist political party allowed to participate in U.S. national elections even though there are at least more than 10 million registered members of the communist party in the US

  3. SO DEAR Omar Fundora! YOU SAY THAT “The People of Cuba support their government”! SO IF THAT IS THE CASE, WHY IS THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY SO AFRAID OF OPPOSITION PARTIES? MULTI-PARTY ELECTIONS? DOES NOT COMPUTE!

    THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE (IRI) : Cuban Public Opinion Survey – A total of 463 Cuban adults between the ages of 18 to 60 years were surveyed to cuestionárseles on various topics ranging from economics, democracy, freedoms and use of technology.

    In the sample involved 46% of women and 54% of men between the ages of 18 to 60 years, who expressed his disappointment with the majority of political and economic situation in the nation that already has over half a century of communist rule. The questions on the survey was last conducted last February 2011.

    In the investigation conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), 78.2% of respondents would vote for a change of political system a democratic system and political pluralism, freedom of choice, voting and free speech if given the chance.

    Among other data for 60.7% of Cubans surveyed said the biggest problem in Cuba is the low wages and high cost of living, while 77.0% said that the current government can not solve the country’s problems in the coming years.

    Also 90.7% said that if they had the opportunity to vote for a change in the economic system that allows them to create companies, owning property in a free market.

    On the use of technology, 72.6% do not have Internet access compared with 5.0% who said yes to access. While 25.3% said the mobile phone access, but what a great majority, ie 74.7%, said they had no access to cell
    http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2011%20April%20Cuba%20Poll%20Final%20Survey%20Slide%20Presentation.pdf

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