The Myth Died, Cuba Must Change / 14ymedio, Pedro Campos
14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Havana, 27 November 2016 — Fidel Castro has
died. The mythic figure has died. The event will be discussed for a long
time and from many points of view. Nine days of mourning has been
decreed in Havana, the flag is at half mast; in Miami they are partying,
the same Cuban flag held high.
The Fidelistas mourn, the anti-Fidelistas party. The vast majority of
the island’s population, eager for changes, are waiting. It could not be
any other way. Since the attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953, Fidel
Castro’s imprint on Cuba shapes our days. The government is ready to
maintain total control over the streets. Its mass organizations are
mobilized to prevent and counteract any demonstrations against him.
But like the myth, his charisma and his influence are not inherited. We
can affirm that a political cycle in Cuba has ended: the eclectic sum of
conceptions that make up Fidelism, populism, authoritarianism,
neo-Stalinism, statism and bureaucratism, just received a mortal blow. A
stage of inevitable changes opens.
Raul Castro, since he assumed power in 2006, promised to undertake
important reforms, replaced many officials, and began dictatorially
implementing a set of measures that he consolidated and expanded in both
Cuban Communist Party Congresses held since then, but without
establishing a legal framework that guarantees them.
During these years, the bureaucracy, laws, regulations and customs of
Fidelism, established over almost 60 years, have prevented such reforms
from being fully deployed.
Raul Castro now has the opportunity to demonstrate whether his reformist
proposals are real or were just a deliberate attempt to counter the
resistance within the system and seek international recognition and funding.
Cuba’s economic situation requires that the changes set forth by Raul be
deepened and expanded, that all state monopolistic barriers to domestic
and foreign markets for capital investment, enterprise development and
productive initiatives of all kinds be broken.
However, it does imply that the Fidelistas abandon their positions in
the government and the Party and that many regulations and customs of
traditional statism be removed. This will be very difficult if, in
parallel, there is no democratization process that permits deep
criticism of the Fidel regime, the adoption of new forms of organization
in the economy and politics, and the emergence and development of new
entrepreneurs and unprejudiced leaders at all levels the society.
Cuba is facing inevitable changes. The death of the mythic figure favors
them. The Cuban people also demand them. Everyone, those inside and
those outside, regardless of their political ideas, must have the right
to participate in the reconstruction of the nation. Achieving it more or
less peacefully will depend on those who still hold power in Cuba.
It is time to assume, with decency, José Martí’s homeland: With all and
for the good of all.
Source: The Myth Died, Cuba Must Change / 14ymedio, Pedro Campos –
Translating Cuba –