Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cuba in Wonderland without Alice.

Cuba is a country ruled by tides. Sometimes the tides are flooding lives with disasters, shortages and persecutions. And sometimes the tides are withdrawing people, civil rights and old little achievements catalogued in the past as part of the mythology of the Cuban Revolution. Today, many of those renowned “achievements” are gone long time ago.CUBA-CASTRO/CAP

One by one, the Cuba praised for many leftist supporters as the paradise of Socialism had erased those first mythical attempts. Taxes abolished in the 60’s at the end of the 80’s made their return: water, gas. The long holidays for electricity and telephone prices were over at the 90’s. The era of the mythical Revolution was over... and began the era of the mystical Involution to the end.

The new Century is not an exception: the elimination of no-charge workers’ cafeterias and the suppressions of items from Cuban monthly ration books are between some of those “unjustified and highly subsidized gratuities” named by Raul Castro’s government. Those named reforms in the euphemistic manners of the western media fenced in Havana.

Ah, our dear monthly ration book. In its name the Castro’s brothers had made thousands of casualties in their war against our civil rights. But the list of items in that little book, every year more thin and neglected, has been shortened more and more and today is a mockery to our intelligence. We don’t have any recollection of when it started, it is so back in time.

Amongst the rumours running in Havana nowadays our sacred monthly ration book has an especial mention: its time life is at stake and could be the next step in Raul Castro’s reform. But today, the only trade union officially allowed in Cuba announced the end of the subsidy to the unemployed. It is not a surprise in the Cuban scenery.

In the 90’s, when the Special Period era began, thousands of people were send home with the 60% of their salaries. What the Trade Union is announcing today is precisely the end of that 60% of salary at home, what it means no unemployed benefits at all.

My little question is: Is this Socialism? Does Socialism mean no unemployment benefits at all? Is that the same society claimed by Fidel Castro in his well-known Moncada’s trial?

Myths, legends and fantasies are part of the human literature, but never part of political processes. Cuba is a myth: it doesn’t belong to history. In 1959, as part of a populist policy, Castro’s government abolished any form of taxation, froze all the prices in gas, electricity, phone services and housing, and demolished every single brick of the old Cuba: economy, political parties, government’s structure, trade unions and democratic institutions of any kind.

With the Special Period in the 90’s, everything Castro brought down in the 60’s and became symbols of the New Revolution came back as “unjustified and highly subsidized gratuities”. It is the Big Brother syndrome: rewrite history over and over.

Since Castro entered Havana in January 1959, what Cuban authorities named as Revolution has been rewriting its rules, laws and words over and over as Big Brother, and it has been selling Wonderland worldwide with Alice exiled in Miami.