The fact the train left on time was truly out of the ordinary. It departed at exactly 4 in the morning. I didn’t know whether it was an unwritten rule followed by the Ministry of Transportation or negligence on behalf of those responsible for the railroads, but nearly all trains in Cuba always left late.
This May 1, International Workers Day, will be no different than past ones. Millions of Cubans will parade to squares in the different provinces and municipalities of the island. Will such verify massive support for the government and its policies?
On a superficial level, Daniel Ortega’s government takes the prize in changing things, as compared with previous governments: the center of Managua is as bright and cheerful as an amusement park. Many have been seduced by this brilliant and eccentric make-up and this new version of a popular piñata in which they give away sheets of zinc roofing, production bonuses, graduation bonuses and parties.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega is retiring, but he leaves the Cuban nation with very useful lessons in what we could call “dialogue building.” One must acknowledge that he designed bridges capable of withstanding the weight of the mutual mistrust that has existed between the Catholic clergy, the Cuban government and Washington.
An impassioned voice calls on the Cuban people to take part in the May Day parade in a show of involvement and “conscious” support for the government and its leaders. The voice seems to forget one detail.
On April 22, some pleasant news: the price of a series of crucial products were lowered by around 20%. In any other country, this figure could be considered highly significant and cause for nationwide celebration, however in deformed and dysfunctional Cuba, everything works differently. Let me explain why.
People in Cuba have long been unable to organize their memories, periods of time or fashions on the basis of presidential terms or the period of time parties have been in power, as can be done in any other country, where a certain leader’s administration can be used to refer to period of years
The tough guys in the neighborhood are the perfect oracles, the guides, the seers of today. They fill the night with their smoke and words loaded with double meanings or no meaning at all. Havana has lost all its elegance.
The 7th Congress appeared to reflect the political debate taking place behind the scenes between those communists who wish to preserve a Soviet-styled form of socialism and the other communists who wish to move forward towards a model that is closer to China’s and Vietnam’s.
To tell the truth, the Party Congress offers us no mysteries. Nothing in Cuba will ever change if such changes are to depend on the governing elite or their archaic notions about social justice.