Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More of the Same

Two years ago, with Fidel Castro out of the scenery and the rumours about his possible death, the expectations about the imminent shake up of the Cuban government and others speculations about possible scenarios in a Cuba without Fidel blossomed all around the world.

News channels, newspapers, magazines, even talk shows run over heels about how Raul Castro would shift the balance of power in Cuba, open the small island and switch to another scheme similar to China.

Well, two years are gone away: Fidel Castro is still there, now behind closed doors and pointing out his old well-known finger behind Raul, and who had been banished from the top are those that the western media speculated would be the next in the line of succession in Cuba.

Nothing had changed. There are still some, like the Prime Minister of Spain, who never lose the opportunity to say that Cuba is changing, with other reporters and analysts who positively affirm that Cuba is in change, quoting some extremely timid moves about cell phones, computers and DVD which a few Cubans can afford.

My question to all of those is: in terms of democracy, human rights and political stakes, is the fact that the government of Cuba opened the possibility to the locals to buy gadgets like cell phones and DVD any improvement?

Rather than dismantling Cuba’ Socialism, Raul Castro seems to be consolidating his power and his control, shaking old names and replacing them with his own trusties and supporters, borrowing his brother’s techniques in terms of discredit and secrecy to his opponents or people who showed a very low support to him.

There is something that all those jitters and speculators have to known: the first one who declares himself as socialist and even communist was Raul Castro, many years before even Fidel Castro confessed he was, and he is not going to break down something that had kept him in top. The time of the revolution is gone. In Cuba, that is only a myth.

I am leaning more around the vision The New York Times brought a few months ago when cleverly said:

“...under Mr. Castro, politics and decision-making are likely to remain as centralized and tightly controlled as they were under his brother, Fidel”
There is nothing new: it is the same old story we all know under a different name.

Change means more of the same.