The country where security forces violently repress social protests and kill people, especially blacks, with their knees on their necks, and which considers itself imbued with the moral authority to question other nations, their democracy and their freedom, continues to test the island and its history of dignity.
The former Argentine ambassador to Cuba, Juliana Marino, gives us here her vision on Cuba today and the challenges it must face in the present international context and the tightening of the US blockade reactivated by Donald Trump and continued by Joe Biden.
From the ranks of Peronism since the 70s, Juliana Marino held party positions and was an active militant in the Women’s Movement, legislator for the city of Buenos Aires, national deputy, promoter of laws related to health, education and the rights of women and children, in addition to a long etcetera that includes her work as a diplomat in Cuba, representing Argentina at the request of the then President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Juliana Marino, a member of the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity and the Instituto Patria, is a committed observer of Latin American processes, to which she usually contributes constructive, but not complacent, critical views. Correo del Alba wanted to know her views on Cuba, which is now (and for the umpteenth time in its recent history) at the center of the world’s attention for the same long-standing reason: its stubborn resistance to the U.S. obsession with destroying its sovereign socialist project. The struggle of an entire people that the former diplomat analyzes here from her experience on the island and with her usual historical rigor, respecting the sovereign decisions of the Cuban government and people.
You were Argentine ambassador to Cuba from 2008 to 2015… Obviously you will have undertaken your own analysis of the reality of the island. What could you tell us about the delicate balance between the brutal blockade that the United States has been systematizing as a silent genocide for 60 years, and the Cuban socio-economic structure itself? What should be changed in Cuba in the face of the new challenges?
Since its inception, but fundamentally since the third decade of the Revolution, the Republic of Cuba has been seeking its course in a socialist scheme that would guarantee stability, development, growth and justice. That is why it has always been so observed and measured by left and right and its system has been questioned, especially when it had to embark on its own destiny in solitude and perhaps – fortunately – because of this, without dogmatism.
The first great Latin American socialist experiment had to be adaptive, I suppose. Any dogma would have been dysfunctional perhaps?
Very probably, no doubt. The Cuban Revolution defined the socialist character of its project on April 16, 1961, through Fidel Castro’s speech at the funeral honors of the victims of the bombing of different parts of the country by U.S. airplanes. Indispensable for its detailed revelation, the story gives an account of the savage aggressions suffered by the island since the beginning of its revolutionary government and of the defamations and fake news (even in those times) that conditioned from the beginning the unified decisions achieved by the heterogeneous political forces and popular militias. For Cuba, unity was a hard and painful road, with costs, but desired and inexorable. As inexorable as the choice of its socialist model, the only one capable of guaranteeing its independence, sovereignty, reconstruction, development and distributive justice.
That historic speech in which Fidel made it clear that the American hatred was not being able to support a socialist revolution “in their own noses” (more or less were Fidel’s words, I seem to remember).
That same speech… a historical speech that I always recommend returning to and if you like I will read you two eloquent paragraphs that illuminate the heroic history of national unity, anti-annexionist, sovereign and humanist.
Fidel said in Havana that day…
“That event (explosion of the ship La Coubre) placed our country in a special situation: in the middle of the 20th century, it brought us to the same situation as the towns and villages in this continent were forced to live in the 16th and 17th centuries, as the cities and towns were forced to live in the times of pirates and filibusters. It placed our country in a unique situation in virtue of which our factories, our citizens, our towns, had to live at the mercy, if not of an airplane that burned our sugar cane fields, an airplane that tried to drop a bomb on our sugar mills, an airplane that caused victims among our population, a ship that entered our ports and made a brazen cannonade – something that had never happened before, something that has never happened so far in this century on this continent.
“Comrades, workers and peasants, this is the socialist and democratic Revolution of the humble, with the humble and for the humble. And for this Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble, we are ready to give our lives.
“Workers and peasants, humble men and women of the homeland… Do you swear to defend to the last drop of blood this Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble?” .
Nothing better than passages from the history of Cuba for the facts with their eloquence to give an account of the epic of a small nation defiant in the defense of its self-determination and to understand the dynamics of its political representation and organization and its social cohesion in spite of the internal crises and discomforts.
Harassment, defamations, the promotion of emigration (Peter Pan Campaign, “wet foot, dry foot” laws and the Cuban Adjustment Act), terrorism and mercenary sabotage of economic production and the application of the Trade with the Enemy Act of 1917), not to mention the successive Torricelli and Helms-Burton laws on extraterritoriality, which have supported the blockade for more than six decades now, did nothing more than confirm that the only possible path for Cuba was and is the socialist Cuba, at the beginning integrated into the CAME (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance – Socialist Common Market) and which, faced with the fall of the socialist camp, suffered what is known as the “special period”. A very hard period in which the Cuban people suffered unspeakable hunger and deprivation, with serious consequences on the health of the population due to the lack of basic foodstuffs and all kinds of restrictions.
“The Revolution had to allocate substantial resources to national defense and security, postponing investments linked to development needs. This has been and continues to be a motive for internal debate”.
A gradual genocide in the 21st century and with the silent consent of all world powers….
The United Nations (UN) annually condemns the blockade -and this is very important- but the condemnation is not binding, therefore it has no concrete effects and leaves such a transcendental support on the level of rhetoric. What is internationally repudiated are its genocidal consequences. I will not dwell on this condition because it is well known, although I will say that I had the opportunity to verify it on a trip I made in 1994 as a councilor of the City of Buenos Aires, a time when, for example, Havana was totally in the dark and instead of “blackouts” with great sense of humor they called “alumbrones” to the very few hours with electricity. Of course, there was little water due to the same shortage and no gasoline at the pumps. There were no medicines in hospitals, no pencils in schools, no toilet paper in homes.
On the other hand, since the beginning of its government, especially after the landing and attack on Playa Giron and the decade of terrorism suffered in its own territory and in its pork and sugar production, the Revolution had to allocate substantial resources to national defense and security, postponing investments linked to the needs of development. This has been and continues to be a matter of internal debate.
Until the 1980s, the economy was directed towards electrification, the construction of industries, housing, hospitals, polyclinics, educational centers, cultural and sports facilities, water, agricultural, port, road and airport infrastructure and, of course, literacy. The growth and development of access to education at all levels was a matter to which Fidel devoted an impressive effort and which he managed to transmit to the Cuban people. It was an unusual impulse that lasted through the 1990s, despite the special period. He was convinced -and he was not wrong- that only culture and scientific development, especially in the field of health, would offer a viable path.
You will agree with me that the Covid-19 pandemic put Fidel’s postulates to the test and that they passed the test.
Absolutely. In this sense (and in many others) Fidel was a singular visionary. For this very reason, the viability of the Cuban socialist model has always aroused the curiosity of the “western world” and Cuba has suffered the interference for its failure. The economic history of socialist Cuba has been permanently debated both internally and externally. Che himself has written about the Cuban economy in the context of its Revolution. Many have asked themselves…
Is it that Cuba is not on the right path?
Is it that productive statism is neither efficient nor viable?
How much does the blockade impede the development of the productive forces?
How much does the bureaucracy hinder it?
Surely many who are reading this interview are studious and more knowledgeable than I am about the alternatives mentioned, the theoretical debates and the comparison between management and measures. Some of them misguided and extravagant, according to the Cubans themselves, who do not lose their sense of humor when they relate them with mischief.
What I can talk about -since I lived the Cuban reality as an ambassador and lived on the island- is the important stage initiated around 2006 to discuss among the whole population the updating of the model through the elaboration of the so-called “Party Guidelines” to reach a consensus and decide on measures that had been long demanded. I was able to see groups of workers in their work centers, in the neighborhoods, in the mass organizations, debating for hours an infinity of points and methodically recording all the positions, corrections, proposals and acceptances of society. For example, the question of the “libreta” (subsidized food/maintain it or eliminate it), the double currency and self-employment (not state). It is not like the bourgeois democracy we are used to in Argentina, but… Who can say it is not a democracy? A direct democracy with broad popular participation.
However, the media and the created imaginary point out that Cuba is ruled by a dictatorship?
That is a construction totally removed from reality. In Cuban society, there are permanent analyses, criticisms and self-criticisms about the timing of the application of the measures, the progress and setbacks, the frustrations and social expectations and the lack of solutions to serious and historical inefficiencies, bureaucratization and corruption denounced at the highest level by the Cuban authorities themselves.
If I have any certainty, it is that the blockade ruthlessly hinders Cuba from opening up more and at the same time verifying the efficiency of its model and its socialism of a planned and state-run economy. But at the same time, counterfactually I say, how could it have resisted the conditions created by the blockade without a socialism with popular consensus, with a State that protects and promotes science as an engine of economic and productive development, a humanist tool and of solidarity among peoples, where health, education and science do not constitute a commodity and are within the reach of all people and all social segments? Cuba has managed to create productive science and at the same time an ambassador of solidarity, which has undoubtedly allowed it to break the isolation to which it is subjected by the United States.
I emphasize… the Covid-19 pandemic revealed many exceptional Cuban achievements, while at the same time exposing the contradictions and neglect that capitalism incurs when it comes to caring for its citizens.
Look… I had the privilege of witnessing the Cuba that made progress in discussing its model of society and its economic scheme. This debate took place during the first decade of the 21st century.
In relation to the economic issue, one of the issues that afflict your system is the high level of external openness and the incidence of the blockade due to the weakness produced by the fall of the socialist camp. On the other hand, it has been trying for years to get out of the crisis that affected it in 2008-2009, whose growth rate went from 6.4% in the previous five-year period to 1.4%.
This situation led it to undertake a profound reform, which was the updating of the Cuban socialist economic model that began with the Party’s guidelines and continued with the “conceptualization” of the model itself. In April 2011, after the massive social debate process I referred to, the VI Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba defined what is known as the Guidelines of the economic and social policy of the Party and the Revolution . Concepts such as “market”, “self-employment”, FDI (foreign direct investment) were included. And although the central productive scheme based on the “socialist state enterprise” was ratified, the field of development began to open up to a private economy.
The strategic objective of the guidelines and the conceptualization of the model was, in its own words, “to promote and consolidate the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialist society in economic, social and environmental terms, committed to strengthening the ethical, cultural and political values forged by the Revolution in a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable country”.
It is important for me to highlight the transcendence of the term “prosperous” and its significance and resonance for Cuban society in terms of the creation of national wealth and greater development in areas with reversible backwardness, reduction of dependence in essential items, normal and continuous self-sufficiency of goods, greater purchasing power, improvement of basic conditions related to transportation and housing and general infrastructure.
“If I have any certainty, it is that the blockade ruthlessly hinders Cuba from verifying the efficiency of its model and its socialism of planned and state economy”.
This very important period, antecedent of the last constitutional reform, had a core legitimacy in the definition of Revolution oriented in the year 2000 by Fidel Castro. On that occasion Fidel expressed: “Revolution is a sense of the historical moment; it is to change everything that must be changed; it is full equality and freedom; it is to be treated and to treat others as human beings; it is to emancipate ourselves by ourselves and with our own efforts; it is to challenge powerful dominant forces within and outside the social and national sphere; is to defend values in which we believe at the price of any sacrifice; is modesty, selflessness, altruism, solidarity and heroism; is to fight with audacity, intelligence and realism; is to never lie or violate ethical principles; is a deep conviction that there is no force in the world capable of crushing the force of truth and ideas. Revolution is unity, it is independence, it is fighting for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, which is the basis of our patriotism, our socialism and our internationalism”.
There are very powerful central ideas loaded with revolutionary mysticism, but the economy is a technical problem that, although it can and should be approached from ethical bases, as proposed by Fidel, it is solved with factual and novel measures for social custom.
Of course, for this very reason, the diagnosis and lines of work shared by the “Guidelines and the Conceptualization of the Model” incorporated controversial economic concepts, desired and at the same time feared by a population very much protected by the State despite its shortcomings.
The need for the expansion of foreign investment, the extension of self-employment (non-state) in selected activities and also the increase and availability of foreign currency and the elimination of monetary and exchange duality were confirmed.
The creation of taxes and their obligatory nature were not part of the economic culture of Cuban society, an issue of relevance to which Raúl Castro repeatedly referred during his presidency.
The blockade also caused in a terrible way many shortages that could not have been hidden anyway….
It was more than urgent to remedy the insufficient supply of goods and services, to solve the negative trends between imports and exports and to correct the low productivity and inefficiency in many sectors, especially in agriculture, and to repair the technological obsolescence of the industrial plant. In this dialogue with the social agents, there was also talk of correcting the lack of organization, discipline, demands and control of productive and service activities. It was necessary to correct behaviors such as disinterest, individualism, bureaucratism, indiscipline, crime, corruption and other deviations and forms of social marginality.
Was this diagnosis shared?
Yes, it was shared, and the criticisms were very clear. Therefore, in order to modify these economic imbalances and their social consequences, the documents referred to -which also constituted a succession of debates and social mobilization- included reforms of great resonance for the socialist model. Among them, in addition to maintaining socialist planning and state enterprise and defense and security as essential objectives, the objective existence of market relations was recognized, over which the State exercises regulation and influence, the forms of property were expanded and its regulation and that of the material and financial wealth of natural and legal persons were specified; privatizing” reforms emerged, were accepted and legitimized, among which those related to foreign direct investment, different forms of management, creation and progress of business organizations, self-employment, creation of non-agricultural cooperatives stand out.
But the changes did not come in time to face the worsening of the blockade by the new U.S. government at the time, the Trump administration. And of course the pandemic exacerbated the shortages in the living conditions of the population and revealed a growing inequality.
Poverty grew in sectors of Cuban society. More in some provinces than in others (the facts themselves show that the mobilization was not uniform in the island) and exposed wounds, postponements, neglect and aspirations recognized by the authorities when they immediately summoned the social group to reflection and protection. For all those who are interested, it is very enlightening to follow the dialogues held publicly by President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez himself with the main actors of Cuban society such as journalists, intellectuals, social scientists and members of the people’s power in neighborhoods and provincial towns, about which the recent map of situations of poverty, neglect or marginality has been extremely important.
Could we say that President Díaz-Canel remained faithful to Fidel’s premise of dialoguing with the people without concealment?
Undoubtedly… But let us bear in mind that there are sectors of the population and age groups that have not lived and appreciated the differences between the history of Cuba and the history of the Revolution. Sectors that have been able to be included in the advantages and possibilities of digital culture and from there they are summoned, attracted, often captured or confused. But I believe that the Government has assumed these changes with the certainty that there are moral, political and ideological reserves and that it has the conditions to face each new attack from the baddest in the neighborhood.
The United States?
The United States does not admit the existence of an insubordinate island in its shantytown and that it is exporting another example to the world. And this rebellious condition, tremendously dignified, has achieved that the majority of the population maintains its adhesion to the revolutionary ideology. So… what social reproaches are there? Personally, I believe that there is an aspiration for new forms of participation in decision making and control and that this rejuvenation should reach the Parliament and all the mass organizations and the Party itself. This demand has been recognized and has set in motion a fruitful and renewed social dialogue.
However, during the protests there were accusations of quietism, of stagnation of the dynamic mechanisms that the Revolution always defended or tried to exercise….
Criticisms are there, but look… Even the most critical sectors could not argue that there have been no changes in Cuba. There have been important changes and those same economic changes have reconfigured the Cuban socio-classist structure with consequences that must be addressed. It should also not be ignored that the Revolution went through the process of transfer of the historic generation, of its charismatic leadership, the physical disappearance of Fidel, with an exemplary political stability, worthy of being imitated by so many other countries.
Above all, in a context of enormous external pressure. No small achievement, if we review different processes of the 20th century where the U.S. threat was present.
Undoubtedly… The impact of the blockade on Cuba’s reality can be discussed. It is impossible to avoid it. A country that is capable of creating and manufacturing its own vaccines – due to its scientific and human development – but needs international solidarity for the supply of syringes, confirms Cuba’s difficulties in the supply of raw materials which it lacks, equipment and/or spare parts which are denied every time a company, be it European or from any other part of the world, has more than 10% U.S. capital.
“The United States does not admit the existence of an unsubmissive island in its shantytown and that it exports another example to the world. And this rebellious condition, tremendously dignified, has made the majority of the population maintain its adherence to the revolutionary ideology.”
Then I would like to come back to the blockade, but since you mention the United Nations, give us your perspective as a diplomat on this new international onslaught against Cuba… What are your reflections on the current state of what we call “International Law” in the light of these organic aberrations against an entire population and a sovereign country? Are we not facing a clear setback in the humanist parameters that, at least in formality, the world had conquered?
In the case of the blockades and sanctions against different countries, it is indisputable that the ethical principles established by International Law are being mercilessly and mercilessly violated in practice with impunity. Only considering the weakness of the UN with its non-binding resolutions and the lack of democratization of the Security Council with the veto power of its permanent members – powerful nations – can we understand the tolerance of the more than 180 countries that vote every year against the blockade against Cuba and that not only see every year how the universal demand is ignored and disregarded, but also witness helplessly the application of economic sanctions and the plundering of genuine funds of several countries and the worsening of the blockade measures against the island and other nations. And as an aggravating factor, in the midst of a pandemic, which is a world social fact of unprecedented magnitude. Undoubtedly, they are part of the matrix and the arsenal of the fourth and fifth generation wars that ravage our peoples in order to guarantee themselves -imperialism-, natural resources and domination within the framework of what they call “issues affecting their national security”.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner personally commissioned you to represent our country before Cuba… What were the instructions for the relations between our two fraternal nations, such as Cuba and Argentina?
Cristina’s respect for Argentine and international institutionality has been demonstrated throughout her foreign policy, so there was no need for her to explain to me her respect for the principle of non-interference. It is also well known her attachment to the Latin Americanist ideas of our heroes and her adherence to the Peronist ideology “united or dominated”, which General Perón confirmed in his return and whose imprint is maintained in the surviving comrades of my generation. Already in 2005, Néstor had already clung this line to the political work of our region together with Chávez, Lula, Fidel, when in May 2008 the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) was created.
Cristina was clear in reinforcing the idea of strengthening ties and bonds, not only commercial, but above all political, cultural and of brotherhood. For this, it was necessary to leave behind some misunderstandings and help resolve a couple of issues that disturbed the relationship, such as the authorization of Dr. Molina’s emigration, which took place in June 2009, in a gesture of détente and trust that Cristina thanked Raul Castro’s government and that sealed a personal relationship of respect and friendship between the leaders Fidel, Raul and the then president, who traveled four times to the island during her two terms in office.
Cristina’s position denouncing the blockade has been vibrant in all international forums and summits, that is why I dare to recommend you to read the book Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. A Sovereign Foreign Policy, published by the Instituto Patria and edited by Colihue, in which you can read her thoughts through her speeches. In relation to Cuba, I recommend his speech at the VII Summit of the Americas on April 11, 2015 in Panama.
You previously gave us your view and analysis on Cuba’s economic and social challenges… How do you interpret the recent protests on the Island? How much is there of U.S. intelligence operation and how much of genuine claim to improve the Cuban economy within the narrow margins allowed by the blockade?
The recent social events in Cuba were clearly triggered by an operation orchestrated from the United States, through a cyber-attack, trolls, fake news and internal activists “subsidized” by the USAID and the NED, according to the destabilizing designs of the CIA. And I accompany this statement with two serious sources  that I have personally been able to confirm with Cuban friends and comrades, often critical of the measures being taken (as happens in any country, naturally), but loyal to the Revolution and to the need to advance more quickly in the changes that the Cuban people themselves have set for themselves, as I have already explained, in order to make the “National Economic Development Plan” until 2030 a reality.
The international media and many in our country only recorded the vandalism produced by marginal sectors and not the massive acts of support for the government presided over by Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, of great personal prestige as a historical figure and very popular for his constant presence in towns, companies, neighborhoods and with his closeness and listening to the popular sectors.
In any case, I must point out that there are levels of discontent in Cuba. Did this discontent start the revolt? No. Was it part of it? Some joined in at the beginning, but they immediately denied their support because violent mobilizations, the destruction of State agencies, especially schools and hospitals, have not been part of the political culture of Cuban society, at least the one I have known, facts that immediately warned the people about the spurious and opportunistic origin of the “protests”.
We should call things by their name: it is not discontent, it is social fatigue due to what is known in Cuba through the saying “there is a lot of work going on”, which, thus tersely and without dramatization, eloquently describes the daily hardships of “the daily grind” to travel, get food, medicines, spare parts, hygiene items, study, clothing. A situation to which they are subjected by the undaunted imperial United States.
If to this situation, which has been going on for decades, we add the impact of the effects of the pandemic that closed down tourism and the worsening of the blockade imposed by Trump-Biden, the social stress is logical, which, on the other hand, was increased by the shortage of medicines. The panorama was also darkened by the statistics of contagion and deaths, which are alien to the extraordinary statistics of life expectancy and access to health that is customary for the people, without discrimination and with great scientific development. The right to health is so transcendent for Cuban society that it has insisted on procuring it for the rest of the world in what we can truly consider an international feat.
Should the blockade always be a central issue when analyzing Cuba? What does it imply in human and social terms a coercion such as the one that this country has been suffering for more than half a century?
For many outside Cuba, the issue of the blockade is a pretext to mask the alleged weaknesses or anomalies of the model, its anachronisms and delays in carrying out the changes promoted by the government itself. Is it true that the blockade should not determine socialism as it does, as some people inside the island maintain? I think that the external restrictions that the blockade imposes and the affectation of Cuba’s international insertion clearly hinders the course towards the socialism to which Cuban society aspires.
It so happens that the blockade has not only been maintained. It has certainly increased and has extended its extraterritorial domain to countries with which Cuba has had close ties of all kinds for decades, but especially commercial ones. And the purpose is to hinder its normal development and continuity and restrict its capacity to handle the different crises of world capitalism and its own. Not all responsibility can be assigned to the blockade, but it does play a crucial role.
Among its structural characteristics, Cuba has limited material and financial resources, a high dependence on external economic relations and little exportable supply. Let us not forget that one of its main sources of foreign currency income -tourism- was practically paralyzed during the pandemic. In the years of Donald Trump, 243 measures were added and many were reinforced to complicate the supply of fuel and to persecute and affect financial institutions and countries that maintain normal relations with the island. Even emergency medical supplies already in the port were prevented from being unloaded. Then, if we take into account that the sending of remittances by the Cuban diaspora in the United States was also prohibited and hindered and that the blockade was dedicated to discrediting the quality and preventing the sale of Cuba’s professional services abroad (health and education among others), we could, without a doubt, assign the blockade a central role in the economic situation of the country, with its consequences in the economic, political and social aspects.
In any case, the Cuban leadership itself – President Miguel Díaz-Canel or Raúl Castro Ruz as first secretary of the Party at the opening of the National Assembly of People’s Power (Cuban Parliament) – on countless occasions have loudly denounced the design errors, the shortcomings and delays in the application of the measures and the need to banish the bureaucracy and corruption of the State and the lack of commitment on the part of the leadership. They also repeatedly stressed the need for reforms in the productive and technological areas, supply chain and logistics, together with the need to increase proximity to the population and reduce inequalities unbecoming of a Revolution.
Cuba has proven to be a power in various aspects: education, health, medical research and international solidarity. In fact, it ranks high in the UN Human Development Index (HDI), at position 70, only 24 places lower than Argentina. How do you imagine a Cuba without a blockade and without external coercive pressures?
I imagine it as the great little nation it is in spite of adversities, among which I include the unaccounted punishment of natural catastrophes. In the hurricanes of 2008, close to 10 billion dollars were lost and in the one in Santiago de Cuba, a few years later, more than five billion, all its infrastructure, all its forest wealth and its coffee production. I have witnessed the devastation, but also the miracle of recovery due to the mystique and strength of a population that does not give up. It has such accumulated experience in crisis management and such a predisposition to face and resolve the conflicts of humanity that, in addition to making a qualitative leap in its national development scheme, it could maintain and increase a relevant role in the solution of the serious post-pandemic world crisis.
Cuba’s educational and cultural apparatus, the excellence of its universities and the training of its professionals have allowed it to show a solvency that could increase enormously if it had the conditions to deploy its productive and creative forces. When you are in Cuba you witness the international respect it has achieved, the relevant relations it maintains with all countries and regions of the world, without ideological corsets, sectarianism or dogmatism and without losing its self-esteem and its vocation for self-determination.
Finally… Is the United States afraid of Cuba?
I think it is afraid of its moral leadership and its humanist ethics. It is afraid of its capacity to stand up as a civilizing example, as a pacifist, anti-consumerist and ecologist paradigm. And it is already afraid of its political and integrative leadership in continental Latin America and in the Caribbean itself. The mirror of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), even with its temporary paralysis, gives a more hopeful and fairer image than the outdated and irremediably discredited Organization of American States (OAS). Let us remember that Celac is a space where the United States is not invited. Neither is Canada.
Geographical determinism geopolitically links the United States and Cuba, but their ideologies – one of domination and the other of brotherhood – leaves no doubt in the minds of the governments and peoples of good faith in our Region as to whom to fear and whom to embrace.
Probably, come to think of it, the maintenance of the Guantanamo base may not just be whim and regional domination, but fear. As we have seen recently in Afghanistan, this is not the first war that the United States has lost and so far Cuba is undoubtedly winning the moral battle of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.
But this whole cultural, journalistic, cybernetic attack, amplified internationally, is not only not over but will intensify. It continues to be an attempt to create an internal opposition -which is what the United States alleges-, but which seeks to overthrow the Government and generate chaos in its model. In view of this, what is the challenge of the Revolution, of the Cuban Government and State? How can we ensure that the future does not mean going back to capitalism and continue the emancipation process that was never said to be easy, fast or permanent?
Undoubtedly, as I have recently read in an interesting and very sincere article:
“We have the duty to formulate a better, more complex, committed and lucid question: how to satisfy the desire for protest, for rebellion, for insubordination from the field of the Revolution and in favor of socialism? How to ensure that this political flow, far from threatening the revolutionary power, strengthens it? These questions, of course, cannot be answered with legal sanctions or police dispositions, nor with economic improvement or communication campaigns: this historic mission that the Revolution imposes on our feeble shoulders requires a broad and excessive deployment of revolutionary politics”.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need for answers that emphasize the recomposition of hegemony, of the consensus of the Revolution and of its socialist project”.
What can be seen in the immediate future?
In this regard, the dilemma continues to be of a challenging magnitude. I read in Infobae of Argentina how the crisis to be unleashed by imperialism in November is being prepared. The political discussion group Archipiélago has called for a mobilization to march “civically and peacefully for our rights” on November 15. A 60-year history of destabilization authorizes one to think that it is not the defense of more rights within the framework of the Cuban socialist model that is being sought, but the clear intention to replicate the “spring” models of protests that end with the death and collapse of popular governments independent of the empire.
In this regard, the Cuban Government has denied authorization and has clearly defined that the Constitution and the laws of the country do not authorize and consider illegal demonstrations that seek to change the socialist system established by those same laws.
The call is accompanied by denunciations about the “repression” of last July, the existence of political prisoners and even dares to speak of missing persons and other slanderous and false news.
The country where security forces violently repress social protests and kill people, especially blacks, with their knees on their necks, and which considers itself imbued with the moral authority to question other nations, their democracy and their freedom, continues to test the island and its history of dignity.
The Cuban Revolution is trying to find within itself the keys to advance in ranks of freedom, equality and prosperity through its socialist model with heterodox and creative reforms, while sincerely assuming the need to get closer to its people. Just as it has always done for its resistance.
 To read Fidel Castro’s full speech on April 16, 1961, go to the link: http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/1961/esp/f160461e.html
 See: http://www.cuba.cu
Translation by Internationalist 360°