The Cuban Revolution, 52 years later
By Jose Luis Garcia Paneque
During these past 52 years, the regime, which has self-proclaimed itself as the “Cuban Revolution”, has attempted to give off the appearance of a beneficial and good-willed government. But in truth, it has been an exclusive totalitarian model of Soviet style “real Socialism”. This system only allows the existence of one party (the communist one) and there is absolutely no difference between that party and the State. The economy is extremely centralized, while censorship and repression are used as control and domination methods against any sort of opposition.
At first, the Cuban model spoke of a classless society, but it gradually established a ruling class which grew to become cemented in power, benefitting from a plethora of privileges, while ballasted by excessive corruption.
They inherited a productive economy which left behind monoculture and exclusive dependency. The only thing they did achieve during these years was to create a dependent economy. First, it depended on the subsidies on the Soviet Bloc, while it later grew dependent on other allies. Throughout this process, the economic base achieved during the years of the Republic was destroyed.
In order to sustain such a diabolic structure, they deployed a disproportionate and costly propaganda system in which only one way of thought was accepted and dubbed “correct”. In such a philosophy the single party and all its leaders are the ultimate essence, the beginning and the end of society.
Neither the Cuban people or anyone else believe that Cuba has a “beneficent” government, for even before its imminent collapse it does not hesitate to impose the most neoliberal measures any government has set in motion.
During the recent Christmas celebrations everyone around the globe wished each other joyous festivities and a prosperous new year. Everyone except the Cuban people, that is. Cubans bid farewell to the old year with an apocalyptic message by the “maximum leader”, where he stated that “either we improve ourselves or we will drown”. In addition, the new year was met with the loss of 500,000 jobs. That means that half a million families will lose their only source of income. Salaries in Cuba, however, are just symbolic. Citizens must find their own way to “resolve” and that is the rule under a system which “controls everything- gives or takes”.
The saddest part of all this is that we still see accomplices who continue following the orders of the regime for the sake of a few miserable privileges- some crumbs here and there. They do so at the cost of the people. What are needed are urgent structural changes, not further draconian measures which only seek to perpetuate corrupt elites in power. This ruling class has caused much damage, separations, and pain for Cuban families, which are now spread throughout the world, as many have been exiled for harboring opinions and voices which go against official ideology. In a few words: Enough! Have some compassion!