There are days – particularly the weekend – when we want to sleep in. After a week of work, we want to get some rest. Often, however, this proves impossible. Street vendors make a point of getting you out of bed.
This post represents an overview of the variables and scenarios currently at play in Venezuela as it moves toward the critical parliamentary elections scheduled for December 6. Political, economic and social factors all entwine to produce a crisis of legitimacy and support for the government of Nicolas Maduro. This crisis may be resolved through a post-electoral transition, or possibly via diverse strategies aimed at impeding or discounting an eventual opposition victory.
The tendency of the Latin American “left” to look for the solution to all problems in the centralized State (rather than popular) control has in fact nothing to do with the left or authentic democracy.
Today, I would like to write about the thousands of Cubans stranded on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, people who are part of a new wave of immigrants crossing the Central American isthmus.
Requiring Cubans to secure a visitor’s visa, a measure Ecuador announced this Thursday, is but a small step in a long road ahead of us and does not resolve the current regional crisis sparked off by the many Cuban migrants currently stranded on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Back when the complete works of Lenin adorned the living rooms of Cubans, there were no color TV sets, everyone went to the movies and US dollars were the Phantom of the Opera, Albert told his best friend that he was a homosexual. At the time, no one used the word “gay” and “homosexual” was a sophisticated and rather strange term. The common word people used was “faggot.”
“Meetings come and go. They are just that, meetings.” The phrase above was pronounced during the first gathering sponsored by the Loyola Center, whose forum debated about Pope Francis’ efforts in connection with Cuba and the United States.
What we have witnessed fifty-six years after the revolution is that, in effect, Cuba has definitively ceased to be a viable solution for the left (so much so, that all measures aimed to “update” Cuba’s economic model have a markedly neoliberal slant and continue to support State monopoly).
The lines Cubans stand in while waiting to board city buses aren’t like other lines. To begin with, they never start at a fixed location. Those waiting in these lines must have eagle eyes and enough of an athletic disposition to run like hell when needed.
Cuba’s economic reforms remind me of those rivers that begin to swell as they flow downhill. To try and set a pre-established pace for these changes is like thinking that one can make a raft stop in the middle of the river.