By Fernando Ravsberg, BBC Mundo
September 11, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Universities have computer rooms and some have internet access.
Cuban authorities approved legal internet use for all citizens, given in a resolution signed by Commandante of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés, Computer Science and Communications Minister.
This resolution implies a change in government policy, which up to now had limited the net to social use, allowing access only to institutions, companies, and to a small group of little more than 100.000 people, mainly intellectuals and scientists.
For some weeks Cubans had been authorized access to “Cybercafés” in hotels, where they can connect to the internet, using the wireless system or WIFI, from their own computers or from those provided by the hotel.
However, it was in fact a measure that could change without notice. On the other hand, a ministerial resolution has legal force; it was even published in the Official Gazette of Cuba.
It is the end of the State’s information monopoly.
In post offices
Some post offices will have internet navigating rooms.
The Minister resolved “authorizing the Cuban Post Office Company, as Access to Internet Service Supplier for the Public. It will provide this service to all people inside our national territory using its internet areas.”
They will use post offices to install computers so that any Cuban can navigate the net. Up to now a similar structure existed, but it only gave access to an intranet, with websites selected by the government.
Brenda and Daimi, workers of a post office in Vedado, in Havana, confirmed to BBC World that 3 days ago they closed to create an internet room. However, it was reopened without finishing the installation.
Apparently, not all post offices will be used during the first phase, workers of the Computer Science’s Ministry to BBC Mundo workers. “One will be selected by municipality” and this service can be enlarged as necessary.
During this last decade, computer classes have been taught throughout the entire country.
With this measure, the prohibition is eliminated. But, the government continues with its proposal of “social use” of the Internet, meaning it won’t be possible to access the net from home. This is because the country doesn’t have enough bandwidth for this.
According to the Cuban authorities, the United States has prevented internet companies from negotiating a larger internet access with Cuba. What’s more, all communications are more expensive since they have to be made via satellite because Washington doesn’t allow the use of the submarine cable.
Shortly all this could change. American President, Barack Obama, authorized telecommunications companies to negotiate with Havana and next year the installation of a telephone cable between Cuba and Venezuela will be finished.
These new technological possibilities could reduce service prices, which today are extremely high. A one hour card in a hotel costs US$7 and full access from homes costs US$150 a month.
End of the monopoly
In this post office, work began but they wasn’t finished.
For decades, the Cuban government maintained an information monopoly. However, in the last years, the propagation of satellite antennas and the sale of internet accesses, both of them illegal yet increasingly extended have diminished it.
Regarding internet access, there are tens of thousands of illegal accounts, directly negotiated between server workers and clients. They cost around US $50 a month and give full access. It’s the same service legal subscribers receive.
Nobody can really know how many people have access to the net. But, it could be more than a million if we count those with authorized accounts, those with illegal ones and those who navigate – without permission – using institution accounts.
Anyway, the Cuban government maintains filters to prevent access to the most radical anti-Castro pages, while allowing access to the whole world press, including the biggest Cuban American newspaper in Miami.
Author: Pastor Batista Valdes
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
LAS TUNAS. – If everybody knew that for each peso of salary that a company pays a worker, it has to pay the wtate 25 cents tax for the use of the work force (besides the 12,5 cents for social security) maybe more people would be more conscious of the need to use every minute of their labor day correctly.
BESIDES AIMING AT TRIBUTARY DISCIPLINE, THIS TAX SHOULD ENDOURAGE A MORE EFFICIENT USE OF THE WORK FORCE.
But, for many years there has been little knowledge of ta law and an absence of a tax culture. This is true not only for the general population but also of managers of productive and service companies; so much so that many people ask themselves, taxes? What is that?
Specialists from the provincial branch of the Finances and Prices Ministry and from the National Office of Tributary Administration (ONAT) explain that this obligation, which is instituted not only in Cuba, applies to all natural and juridical persons, Cuban or foreign, that have employees, and is calculated from the wages, salaries, bonuses and other payments given to those workers (Law No. 73 of the tributary system, 4-8-1994, chapter X).
Modifications introduced in 2006 to Resolution 240/2002 included budget units in the list of tax payers (they had been excluded until then). Credit and Service Cooperatives (CCS) and state agricultural units were temporarily excluded if the personnel they hire are working directly in agricultural production or in woodlands.
Stated in these terms, there should be no problems in its enforcement. On the other hand, reality doesn’t always live up to expectations.
Audits carried out in the county last year by ONAT supervisors revealed irregularities amounting to 2,170,400 pesos, for the most part concentrated on 12 entities of the sugar industry, 23 entities subordinated to local government and ten to the agriculture ministry. From January to May (2009) irregularities amounted to more than 900 000 pesos.
One wonders: If those audits reviewed only part of the possible universe, how much money is not being paid in the territory and what are the consequences for national economy? Possibly, nobody can say.
WHO’S PAYING FOR THIS?
Supervisor Pedro Quesada thinks one thing is clear: if the tax is not paid the law stipulates a fine. But, where will the money come from to pay that fine?
The budget does not include these types of expenses, therefore the situation is “solved” by diminishing the entity’s efficiency or its budget, and this causes serious damage to our country.
“We lack culture – says Milaida Aerie, sub-director of Finances and Prices -, maybe we need more knowledge, more popularization, and more seminars. But, we also need to be stricter. If whoever is responsible for the irregularity had to pay the fine from his/her own pocket, the situation would be different. But in the end it is Liborio (the State) who pays for the broken china.”
Not all managers act like the one in the Milk Basin Company.
Fe Esperanza Álvarez, of that company says, “When we finish calculating the payrolls, we calculate the tax, prepare it quickly and deposit it in the Bank. This happens month after month. I won’t deny that at some point we had difficulties with some of our units, but they are already solved. This year we only have two CCS and a Cooperative of Agricultural Production (CPA) in trouble, not for unpaid taxes, but for old debts.”
A timely word can solve future problems. “We are not inflexible – said Velia Proll Gamboa, ONAT sub-director in the municipality -; if a taxpayer is in a difficult situation and requests a postponement, we study the case, verify with the bank, see the bank statements and if the conditions are justified, authorize the postponement.”
In fact, entities like those of the agriculture (CCS, CPA, Basic Units of Cooperative Production) have received credit and special treatment since 2005, because of the havoc caused by many years of drought (first) and then the lashing of hurricanes later. This doesn’t mean that they have been relieved from responsibilities or obligations with the revenue.
What is unacceptable is that, due to negligence, the taxes go unpaid or units are late in making bank deposits. For example, if the deposit the CCS have to make are late, this is not the responsibility of those who work directly in the fields, but of those who are part of the managing board. Although here, this is not a serious problem, it can have repercussions in other territories.
Many, as Alberto González, of the provincial delegation of the agricultural ministry, recognize that the information and conferences the Tributary Administration Office gives to the economic personnel [of the units] is very valuable. They also value the installation of the program Sentry, designed to remind personnel that the tax needs to be paid; several days before the due date a reminder pops up every time the computer is activated.
Regrettably, some do not value these alternatives, others wait until they are ‘caught napping’” and there are still others who “pull faces” if the press points them out for not paying or for being morose. But, who “pulls faces” for the millions of pesos that don’t come in, for the loss it represents for the nation and all its inhabitants?
One needs to ponder about this, especially when a company is about to violate its tributary obligations, or when managers decide to hire more workers that will increase the work force tax, without having efficiently used the capabilities of those who have conformed its payroll until that instant.
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
25 April 2017 / UNESCO Havana / Culture Portal for Latin America and the Caribbean
Two unforgettable encounters between music students from Cuba and the world were held on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 April. It was a magnificent debut for the week dedicated to the global celebration of International Jazz Day in Havana: the first in the University of The Arts (ISA) and the second in the Conservatory of Music “Amadeo Roldán”.
In front of the visiting musicians from different countries and students of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Danier Seeff, Director of Programs of this institute in the West Coast of the United States came
The young jazz musicians offered a concert in both school centers that included several numbers under their own authorship and an impressive musical route by the History of the Jazz, from the times of one of its initiators in century XIX, the teacher of the ragtime Scott Joplin, until contemporaries like Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis, going through 1960s jazz, an expression of the civil rights struggles in the United States at the time.
Under the direction of Camilo Moreira Coro, the ISA Jazz Band offered a performance that included versions of “Mambo No. 5” by Dámaso Pérez Prado, “Amor Fugaz” by Benny Moré, and “Chinoiserie” by Duke Ellington, as well as the interpretation by the young pianist of the band of one of his own compositions.
In the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, the young middle level students gave a show led by the female quintet “Nymphs”, directed by the cellist Kabila Franchini Suárez; The musical project “Ceda el Paso”, with the young and laureate pianist Rodrigo García Ameneiro at the front; and the the school’s jazz band, under the direction of the Master Enrique Rodriguez Toledo, also director of the band. The students performed singular arrangements of classics such as “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla or “Pita y Para”, by Francisco Repilado, and a wide repertoire of Cuban and international jazz.
But the most exciting in both cases was the interaction of the students of Thelonious Monk with their Cuban counterparts. It was a real splurge of virtuosity both by hosts and guests, who performed improvised jam sessions and exchanged knowledge in spontaneous “workshops” of Instruments, memorable “downloads” where talent and creativity flowed uncontainablely, after the scheduled presentations were concluded.
They were, without doubt, new samples of the power of jazz to unite, and to create synergies, so that the cultures dialogue through the notes of the most democratic musical genre. Those of us who live in it were, in truth, privileged.
By Roberto Alfonso Lara
April 5, 2017
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Living a comfortable old age can be the aspiration of anyone in the world. Some even set it as a goal and work hard to achieve it. But this effort at the individual or family level requires socio-economic support. This implies changes in health-care services, transportation, the stores…
For several years, Cuba has given emphasis to policies to protect senior citizens. The irreversible aging of its population has led to a number of transformations, essentially in public health. Other sectors remain oblivious to the challenge. Marketwise, for example, old people are forgotten.
The country´s stores disregard the needs and preferences of the elderly. The sale of clothing, footwear and food without adjustment to their demands, is proof of the low visibility of this age group in commercial matters. When it comes to selling, gray hair is usually not taken into account.
Somehow, I think there is an incomplete perception about the elderly, which doesn’t realize their true potential. A degree of conformism is attributed to them. The limited satisfaction of their urgent needs often follows that premise. It is usually thought that, due to their age, they lack tastes and interests, and that anything will be good for them.
Neither slippers nor pajamas nor “home scrubs” at reasonable prices are to be found in stores. Neither are light fabric clothing, nor shoes with the proper design to cope with corns and bunions, or anything that gratifies or pleases them. They do stumble upon sneakers and high heels, shiny blouses and tight pants.
Domestically-made garments hardly fill the vacuum. The use of textiles inadequate for Cuba’s hot climate (polyester instead of cotton), make the articles on sale of little use. Industry needs, first, to know in detail the type of customer to whom its products are intended. The same happens with prices, which bear no relationship with the very little money pensioners receive.
In terms of marketing, older people are scarcely valued in the country as an economically attractive group. Nevertheless, nations with similar demographic characteristics find in seniors numerous possibilities as consumers. Several specialists have even argued that the future of the market lies in the grandparents.
If in 2025 one in four Cubans will be over 60, wouldn’t it be appropriate to take another look at the issue? The care of the elderly –a strategic issue in the development of the nation– requires the implementation of comprehensive action in pursuit of greater comfort and quality of life.
The construction and repair of nursing homes and grandparents’ homes, along with new geriatrics clinics, anticipate the way forward. The other lap corresponds to the spheres of production and services. These are still permeated with the stereotype that the elderly do not buy enough.
Because of the size of the changes required, it may be difficult to deal with the needs of old age. For Cuba’s weak economy it is, in fact, a problem. However, all the elements should be thought of instead of continuing to postpone possible options. Not only in terms of clothing or food, also in the constant supply of wheelchairs, canes, hearing aids, mattresses, beds…
The government’s own interest in promoting the active participation of senior adults in the socio-economic life of the country clearly speaks of the need for reorienting the compass towards the current demographic process. Consequently, it is a task for the market to review its current situation and expand what’s available. The elderly, like other generations, need to see their reflection own in the mirror.
Time Does Not Devour Redeemers
Living statue of the strongest metal,
The monsters of gold and silt who could not
Kill you with bullet and poison,
Want time to condemn you to death.
They count your hours, are encouraged by seeing
your beard gone white on your Greek profile;
And on the high summit of serene thinking
The outbreak of your gray hair amuses them.
The peoples, however, give you roses,
poems and songs; more for the dreams
you made come true than for your birthdays.
Because the age of the heroes and geniuses
is not measured by days or years,
But for long centuries and millennia.
Jesús Orta Ruiz, “El Indio Naborí”
(Written in 1996, for Fidel’s 70th Birthday)
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
El tiempo no devora redentores
Estatua viva del metal más fuerte,
no pudiendo los monstruos de oro y cieno
matarte con la bala y el veneno,
quieren que el tiempo te condene a muerte.
Cuentan tus horas, les anima verte
blanca la barba de perfil heleno;
y en la alta cumbre del pensar sereno
el brote de tus canas les divierte.
Los pueblos, sin embargo, te dan rosas,
poemas y canciones más por cosas
de cumplesueños que de cumpleaños,
pues la edad de los héroes y los genios
no se mide por días ni por años
sino por largos siglos y milenios.
Jesús Orta Ruiz, “El Indio Naborí”
(Escrito en 1996, con motivo de
los 70 años de Fidel)
By Karina Marrón, Chief of National Information, Granma daily
October 5, 2015, 8:58 PM
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
These are comments by Karina Marrón, who heads the paper’s national editorial staff.
At barely 30 years of age, leading the national news staff of the country´s highest-circulation newspaper is no easy task. Karina Marrón, who is head of the national news staff of Granma newspaper, can tell us about it because every day she faces the enormous challenge of trying to bring a balanced Cuba to its pages.
“It is not easy to fit into just eight pages our nuances plus characters, events, news from all provinces, recognition and criticism,” she assures me. But Karina does not give up her desire to transform Cuban journalism for the better from her daily space.
On the occasion of Granma’s 50th anniversary, we spoke with Karina regarding changes necessary for Cuban press and the challenges, challenges and opportunities for Granma in present-day Cuba.
Q: When you came to lead Granma´s national news staff you already had a record in the newspaper Ahora! Now, how much change and continuity was there between what you were doing –thinking mainly of Holguin– and what you began to conceive for the national audience?
“I started with Granma in October 2013 and although work on Ahora! was certainly a great school –due to the quality of the professionals with whom I worked and the concepts of journalism that have become a tradition in that newspaper– Granma was quite different.”
“If we talk about continuity, I think I can mention two fundamental things: being the official organ of the Cuban Communist Party –each medium adjusted to its aim– and the need to address issues that matter to the population. The challenge of reconciling both, of delving into the issues that people care about and doing so with the social responsibility that comes from being the official voice of the Party, that’s something I saw as continuity, even though, as I said, the scope is different.”
“When I think about change, I must necessarily refer to daily editing. It is not even remotely similar to work in a weekly. This is because, in a daily journal, even when you strive to have a good online edition of your newspaper, in our minds the printed paper is still the main media. So, I had to adapt to a different pace of work, different conceptions of space; to think about a country and not just one province, different relationships with information sources, and new styles of work.”
“In essence the job remains the same, because the work of any news media, even the smallest, implies preparing yourself to inform correctly, implies sacrificing to investigate and to finding the best way to say things. The big difference is the impact and what can be achieved through a media like Granma.“
Q: What was your relationship with the daily Granma before you joined it? The Granma that you used to read and the one which you are now part of; how much has the image of that paper changed in your mind?
“Honestly, I think I was pretty severe. As a reader and as a journalist I was full of dissatisfaction with what I read, and had many ideas about how it should be. I think I’m not alone in that. I think every person who reads Granma is like I used to be. This is because for those who read us –whether in print, in Granma International or on the Web– the battles fought internally every day to get the newspaper out are invisible and all that matters is the result.”
“People expect more and more of this newspaper; and that’s fine, because it means that people are still confident that we can meet their expectations. The issue, the challenge, is not to leave them wanting, not to fall too short of what people are expecting.”
“Now that I’m part of the newspaper team and specifically of its editorial board, I understand many things: the professional limitations, the mediations in the process of preparing the paper and even the material problems. But as I said, none of that can justify us before those who follow our publication in any of their presentations; and that’s what we can not lose sight of.”
“I think the Granma that I used to “see from the sidelines” and this one which I am part of right now are different. The Web version of the newspaper is perhaps the most notable example, not only because of its new image and the possibility of interacting with users through their comments, but also because of the way of understanding the news coverage of certain events. In the printed version, there are also differences, especially in the still hesitant approach to research, and the diversity of journalistic genres. They are different, but they’re still not the Granma I’d like to read. “
Q: In your opinion, how is the Cuba that Granma presents? What is the challenge of putting together each day a national newspaper? What are you proud of? What would you change?
I think the Cuba shown in Granma still lacks many nuances. Characters are missing and sometimes facts are missing. It is very difficult at times to reconcile all interests so that Cuba is shown in its entirety every day in those 8 pages. This is because the newspaper is not only the place where people look for information as an instrument in the ideological struggle waged by our country. It’s also a document that remains in history. But it is also seen by many people as a place of recognition. So everyone wants to see themselves there, but not in criticism.”
“And it is very complex because, on the one hand, people question why Granma mostly publishes articles on positive experiences in different sectors: agriculture, construction, health, education … when there are so many problems to solve. On the other hand they do not want us to stop recognizing their work.”
“I think that’s the hardest part to fill every day in a national newspaper: balance. To have the different provinces represented, to include criticism and recognition, so we can fulfill the task of informing and stimulating thought. That is a score that is not yet settled, because, when we have gotten closer we always find that something is missing. For example: chronicles or life stories, which are other ways of showing Cuba and that breathe so much life into a publication.”
“Personally, I am proud to belong to this group. It gives me great joy when we do something that is well-received by those who read us. No matter if it’s something from my staff, or from culture or internationals, because if there is something positive in Granma it is that there are no individual “beats”; what is most important is the newspaper, rather than your own signature on an article.”
“As for change … I would change many things. Some within Granma; others outside, but that also have an impact on what happens inside. However, there are changes that do not happen just because you want them to –all the more so when you are dealing with a newspaper. There are changes that depend on many people, and take time. So I think it’s best to change myself slowly (it’s hard to get rid of certain habits and ways of thinking) and to try to be part of that change in other people and things.”
Q: For several years, now the staff of Granma has been characterized by being eminently young. Can you describe the challenge of being a very young leader who works with so many young people? What role will they play in the kind of journalism that we are called upon to do?
“What is most complex is that you yourself are learning and sometimes you do not have much to teach. Although I graduated ten years ago, I do not think my past experience is enough to become the mentor that the young people I lead need or to be the guide they need to fully develop their potential. The shortcomings of the national news team today are my fault, my own shortcomings; and that is what I feel when any of my staff’s work is rejected.”
“But it’s very rewarding to work with young people, especially in these times when generational leaps are faster. At least, that is how I see it. Today a five year difference can be a huge gap in terms of the way we see the world. To work with those who view things differently can open my eyes to things I had not seen before. In journalism that seems fundamental.”
“As to the role they should play … I think it’s essentially the same: to speak with the voice of the times. Ideally, without losing this new voice –controversial and full of color that youth always has– Granma would reflect the very serious issues that it has to deal with on account of its role in Cuban society.”
Q: If I asked you for a kind of SWOT matrix with respect to Granma today, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats would you identify? How can we change it for the better? How would you like Granma to be in the next five years?
“It’s a fitting question for a thesis, but I will try to answer briefly on the basis of the analysis we have done within the editorial board of Granma.”
“Threats: unfair competition from the so-called alternative media, both printed and digital, which offer better economic compensation and do not have the editorial pressure of the official media. To this I could add the inconsistencies in the information policy of the country, and the general absence of a culture of communication on a societal scale (hence the excessive secrecy and excessive regulation, etc.).”
“Weaknesses… Lack of professionalism and continuous emigration of an important part of young, trained journalists for a number of reasons. There are also the material limitations which we cannot overcome. This is coupled with a limited administrative autonomy (believe me… this also has a bearing on the newspaper we make).”
“These are just two, but I could mention others such as insufficient readership studies to know our public, generational gaps that exist in our newsrooms, self-limitations and lack of self-preparation by some professionals, not just journalists.”
“As for the strengths … Having achieved a system of collective leadership in decision-making and a growing collective construction of the media’s agenda which takes into very serious account the interaction with its readers. Furthermore, it is also very positive to have a Web page that technically allows us to be “up-to-date” with what goes on in the world of hyper-media journalism. There is also an understanding of the need for convergence between the traditional and the digital media.”
“If we consider the opportunity of having professionals who are mostly willing to make the changes and the training to do so –especially young people– then arguably part of the way towards the transformation we want is clear. But of course, there are things that do not depend on Granma, and these are matters of time and effort. And finding the way to do it, which is not always as easy as identifying problems.”
Q: For several years you´ve had the blog “Espacio Libre [Free Space]”, which is well-liked. I see that you haven’t written for some months. What is the relationship between Karina the blogger and the Karina who carries a national newspaper on her shoulders? What is the contribution of the blogosphere to the journalism we build in the media?
“Blogger Karina has many debts to those who read her, because I dedicate a lot of time to the newspaper and the blog is the most affected by that. On the other hand, I have run into an ethical dilemma, because when I want to write something for the blog I immediately think: why don’t I write about that for Granma?”
“Sometimes one is seduced by the magic of the fact that on the blog you’re the journalist, the editor, the one who dictates the information policies, the editorials and the writing manuals and therefore it is somewhat easier to write about anything. You don´t even have to convince those who read you. In the end, whoever comes to your blog knows in advance that he or she will find their personal criteria and they can share it or not, but that is your very own space to comment.”
“A public media like Granma has to respect its public service and, therefore, even if you are giving an opinion, you are obliged to present arguments; to think carefully what you want to convey to your readers; what use they can find in what you do. It is not a space for personal catharsis.”
“That’s why I was talking about an ethical dilemma, because if I want to write about something controversial in my blog, for instance, I always ask myself why not do it for the newspaper, which also needs these things. Often these ideas end in stories I ask my own reporters to cover because I realize that for Granma, I can’t present certain subjects with just my limited personal perspective. Thus, the blog has been going dry or includes texts that are closer to my experiences as an individual than to journalism.”
“That competition between Karina the blogger and the editor, I think, is one of the main contributions that the blogosphere makes to journalism today: to show all roads that are still untravelled. If the media tapped more into the multiple voices that are there, either to nourish ourselves with issues, or even publishing the best that we find in the blogs, Cuban journalism would breathe fresher air.”
Q: As for the debate on the need for a change in the Cuban press: What role do you see for ethics, the participation and leadership of young people in the journalism that we all want to see? What can we ourselves do?
“I think that if there is something that those of us who work in the media and the population agree on is that the Cuban press must change. Better yet, I would say that the system of the press in Cuba must change. Now then, in that change ethics is essential.”
“We want a press that has nuances, colors, where each publication is distinguished by its exclusive content, and that is closer to the people. However, to achieve this goal we cannot become frivolous, sensationalist tabloids. Ethics is the only thing that can save us when we fail to see clearly the boundaries between achieving a product that is attractive, even entertaining, and entertainment per se, i.e., populism.”
“The Cuban press has a tradition of defending truth, of patriotism: and, although this can sound like a “spiel” to some, I think they are values that we can never forget.”
“And it is also ethical to prepare every day to do a better job in the media; to fight against those who want to hide information … So for me any path toward change must be linked to ethics.”
“Furthermore, in that change, young people are the key, because they have the strength, the momentum, the new knowledge and the time to go tearing down walls. But first they must feel the commitment to do so.”
“Today’s world promotes many different ways of disconnection, of individualism. There are many people waiting for the guy next to them to resolve the problems that affect us all while they care only about their own. I think the first thing we can do is begin to realize that change is also in us and we must join forces with those who think alike. Only then will we be taking the step in the right direction. At least that is the way I see it, and I try.”
Source: María del Carmen Ramon – Cubahora
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
On March 10, 1952, with a door slam, a chapter of Cuban history came to a close. Fulgencio Batista –who, two decades before, had introduced a harsh dictatorship– seized power once again with a handful of his former collaborators had liquidated the revolutionary government of just one hundred days which had emerged in 1933 after the fall of Gerardo Machado. The new coup took place without major setbacks and thus ended Cuba’s brief experience with “representative democracy”. This had lasted for only two terms of the Cuban Revolutionary Party (Autentico), which had governed for little more than seven years.
The “Autentico” Party presented itself as heir to the Revolution of 1933, in which its leaders had had played an outstanding role, but did not go beyond national-reformism, creating some necessary institutions and showing an independent foreign policy on some important issues at the UN and the OAS. Its work was, however, hampered by government corruption which invaded almost all branches of the administration. Besides, its adherence to McCarthyism led to the division among the trade union and popular movement, and the assassination of some of its main leaders.
The prevailing dishonesty caused the split in the “Autentico” Party and the emergence of the Cuban People’s Party (Orthodox) which raised the slogan “Vergüenza contra Dinero [Shame against money]” as its main banner. Among its founders was a recently graduated lawyer named Fidel Castro Ruz.
The general elections scheduled for June 1952, brought face-to-face, according to all polls, two candidates: the “orthodox”, headed by a respected university professor [Roberto Agramonte], and the government official, led by an “autentico” whose honesty was beyond doubt. A third candidate, Batista, supported by reactionary groups, appeared in a distant last place and no one gave him the slightest chance of winning in the polls. Everyone in Cuba knew this, including Batista who, for that reason, prevented the people from deciding.
The coup and its immediate aftermath deeply wounded Cuban society. Batista received immediate support from the big property owners as well as from the conservative political forces and corrupt trade union bureaucracy. Political parties –the ones close to the government as well their opponents– were trapped in inaction and inconsistency. Authenticism and orthodoxy were divided into contradictory trends and new parties emerged from them; some willing to collaborate or compromise with the new regime. These and all other parties engaged in endless controversies unable to articulate a path against tyranny.
Resistance found refuge in the universities. Out of these came the first demonstrations and acts of protest. Among the students there was a growing awareness of the need to act and to do so using methods different from those of the politicians who had failed miserably. There was talk of armed struggle, but nobody knew how to wage it or had the resources to undertake it. There were some isolated attempts while rumors spread about plans led or linked to the president overthrown on March 10.
For those of us who were still in secondary education, the assault on the military barracks in Santiago de Cuba (Moncada) and Bayamo (Carlos Manuel de Cespedes), on July 26, 1953, was a complete surprise. We knew nothing of an event that would change our lives forever.
The news highlighted the name of someone previously unknown to us: Fidel Castro.
The political crisis deepened. The tyranny became even more aggressive. The Communist Party (Partido Socialista Popular [Socialist People’s Party]) was banned and its publications closed, while increased repression against the student movement became the norm. Batista’s accusations against the Communists sought the sympathy of Washington, but had nothing to do with reality. The PSP was not only alien to those events, but rather condemned the action of the young revolutionaries as did the other opponents to Batista, almost without exception.
With Puerto Rican Independentists, Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores and Oscar Collazo, Havana 1979.
Once again it fell to the students to replace the parties that had proved incapable of fulfilling their role. The Federation of University Students (FEU) sympathized with the attackers of the Moncada garrison and called for a campaign for their release. This soon acquired a national dimension and forced the dictatorship to grant them amnesty in 1955.
That same year, Fidel founded the July 26th Movement. Along with the survivors of the initial action, it counted especially on young people who, in neighborhoods and study centers, identified themselves with that heroic deed against tirades and criticism from Tiryns and Trojans.
Their ranks were filled with youths, no few of them teenagers, who rebelled amid frustration, inertia and division, inspired by a feat that had shaken the tyranny and its opponents as well. Antonio López (Ñico), who had led the attack on the barracks in Bayamo, was responsible for organizing the youth brigades of the M-26-7 until he went to Mexico to return with Fidel and die fighting in the Sierra Maestra. He was replaced in Havana by Gerardo Abreu (Fontán), a black man of very humble origin, who had not completed primary school. He managed, on his own, to acquire a broad cultural background and a poetic sensibility that caused astonishment among us college students who had the privilege of fighting under his leadership. Ñico and Fontán –both from the Orthodox Youth– knew Marxism, shared socialist ideals, and were profoundly anti-imperialist. They were determined to create an organization that would massively bring in the new generation. They succeeded. Their followers were identified with a single word: “fidelistas”.
The presence of the Brigades was felt quickly by sending their message directly to the people. While the press and politicians criticized Fidel and the Moncada action, everywhere, in every corner of the capital –on walls and facades– using very modest resources, Brigade members painted a brief slogan which everyone understood: M-26-7, or a name that others wanted to silence: Fidel.
In view of the hostile environment which made it impossible to wage open political struggle, Fidel went to Mexico in order to organize the return to carry out the battle that would end the tyranny. He proclaimed it openly, undertaking a historic commitment: “In ’56, we will be free or we will be martyrs” thus challenging the followers of inaction and despair once again. And also their jokes: a government newspaper carried on its front page every day the number of days which had elapsed that year without the defiant promise being kept.
Well into November, the propaganda against the Moncadistas intensified. Demonstrations, organized by the FEU and the newly created Revolutionary Directorate, climaxed and led to the closure of the university. The last day of the month, to support the landing [of the Granma expedition], the M-26-7 carried out an uprising in Santiago de Cuba. Two days later Fidel and his companions arrived at the eastern shores aboard the yacht Granma, in what Che described as a “shipwreck”.
Scattered and persecuted by the Army, a small group finally managed to reunite in the Sierra Maestra. Many members of the expedition died fighting, or were assassinated.
Among these, as the US news agencies reported, was its main leader. Fidel’s death was reported on the front page of every newspaper. Anguish and uncertainty remained until after a passage of time that seemed endless. Gradually and by clandestine channels, the truth came to be known.
The last two years of the dictatorship were rife with crimes and abuses in the urban areas while the initial guerrilla force grew to become the Rebel Army.
“Fidelismo” reached massiveness. On the night of November 8, 1957, one hundred simultaneous explosions rocked Havana, each in a different neighborhood and distant from one another. They were practically heavy firecrackers –rather homemade devices– that only made noise. No one was injured and no one was arrested by the police who went around frantically from one place to the other. It was sound evidence that the “26th” was everywhere and showed the youth brigades’ efficient organization.
The murder of Fontan, on February 7, 1958, sparked a students’ general strike which lasted until May. It paralyzed all education centers, including private universities and academies, and led to the consecutive resignations of two of Batista’s Education Ministers of Batista.
Never before had such a movement occurred in Cuba to such extent and for so long. For three months, all attempts, violent or “peaceful” to end it failed. The student walkout continued, even several weeks after the movement suffered in its most painful and bloody defeat in Havana.
The failure of the attempted general strike by the workers, on April 9, was a very severe blow. It decimated urban militancy, almost completely destroyed the underground structures, and allowed the dictatorship to mobilize thousands of troops to launch what it thought would be the final battle in the Sierra. Once again everything depended on Fidel and his leadership.
PHOTO Elian and Juan Miguel Gonzalez, at the Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Moncada assault.
Batista’s offensive proved a complete failure. The Rebel Army –well-established in the East– sent two columns led by Che and Camilo Cienfuegos, which crossed half the island and won many battles in its central region. The rebels were close to liberating the cities of Santiago de Cuba and Santa Clara. The last day of December, the dictator arranged his escape and –in close coordination with the US Ambassador– left behind a military junta in Havana that would have been the continuity of his regime. To thwart the maneuver, Fidel called for a general strike.
In the early hours of the first day of the New Year, the people took over the streets in the capital. The youth brigades –almost totally unarmed– occupied all police stations without meeting resistance from the demoralized and nervous troops of the regime. However, in other parts of the city, armed paramilitary groups of Batista henchmen had to be confronted. The strike continued until the total collapse of the tyranny. On January 8, Fidel rode triumphantly into a city that was already and finally “Fidelista”.
The victorious Revolution would have to face more powerful obstacles and even greater risks for over half a century: Political, diplomatic and propaganda aggression, armed attacks, subversion and sabotage, and the economic blockade that is still ongoing and is the longest genocide in history. Another blow was the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the disappearance of allies and trading partners plus the complete isolation of the island. It has been a long and stormy path that the people have weathered under Fidel’s guidance.
Ninety years of age has now come to the man who had to face more than six hundred assassination plots against his life and whose death has been announced countless times by imperialist propaganda. Maybe someday his enemies will have to admit that they were never able to kill him. This is because Fidel and his people are one and the same. And that people, largely thanks to him, is invincible.
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
When they talk to Cubans today about the benefits of capitalism and plans are drawn to aid them in the transition to that socio-economic order, they are assuming Cuban citizens suffer from a historical amnesia against which they are vaccinated.
At the birth of the twentieth century, Cuba began a direct transition from its colonial condition to a neo-colonial situation in which all consciousness-forming factors –including education, the media and entertainment– pointed to the model of a capitalist nation with the US consumer society as a paradigm.
Deeply divided internally –on the basis of race, gender, income, political parties and other factors– everything took shape according to the dominating interests of the powerful neighbor.
Governments were elected following nominations by political parties representing different sectors of the bourgeoisie, almost all depending on their ties with the United States.
Cuba’s elections were tragi-comic spectacles, initiated with promises and advertisements escalating to blackmail, bribery, scams, fraud and embezzlement. These were occasionally interrupted by cycles of violence that could include US interventions, coups d’état and repression with torture and murders. There would be the corresponding responses of rebellion; until the start of a new cycle… similar to the one before.
The recent restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba ended a fierce asymmetric war between two neighboring countries, with a clear victory by resistance of the Caribbean nation. Cuba had endured the violent hostility of the only global superpower for over half a century: the richest and technologically most developed country of the present. The US was determined to reverse the course of Cuba’s history of revolutionary struggles for national independence which had begun in 1868 and peaked in 1959.
Cuban historian and sociologist Fernando Martinez Heredia, in a recent work on the 55th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution, explained:
“At the onset of the second great revolutionary wave of the twentieth century –whose center was in the Third World but which included a cycle of large protests in many countries of the so-called developed world– Capitalism, to go on the offensive and reverse the situation, appealed to such manipulations as weakening the institutions and coordination initiatives that could serve the Third World. It waged “low intensity wars”; increasing conservative practices and political rhetoric, waving flags such as that of human rights, and launching campaigns such as the supposed struggle against drug trafficking and corruption … “.
The powerful US media machine has tried to hijack such words as “democracy” and “freedom“, which expressed the objectives of their struggles, from the peoples fighting for their second and true independence in Latin America. The US media put these words precisely into service to interests more in conflict with the semantic and true value of these terms.
“Cuba is entering a stage in which the great dilemma is to develop socialism or return to capitalism,” says Martinez Heredia. “What is being waged is not a cultural struggle between neo-liberalism and state economy. It is between a socialism, that will have to transform itself and become even more socialist or perish, and a capitalism that has opted to accumulate more and more social force by conquering society through make-believe and by getting Cubans get used to capitalist deeds, relationships and social consciousness.”
“Capitalism continues to exist, and not passively. It is always attacking –sharply or chronically. It will attack mainly by entering, returning, reliving, soaking, infecting the institutions, groups and individuals who want the new and socialist.”
In the battle between these two ways of living, that of capitalism has been receiving many reinforcements in recent times. Its main battlefield is in everyday life: social relationships, the growth and expansion of private businesses and their constellations of economic and social relations, ideas and feelings.
“The current US strategy toward Cuba will deploy a good number of soft and intelligent resources as modern “fool-catchers” in the 21st Century war. They will attempt to erase all of Cuba’s greatness and reduce the country to the nostalgia for “the good old days” before the rule of rabble and the Castros.”‘
“This is the enemy that Cubans now have to fight. An enemy that is trying to seduce Cuba to regain the control it had on the island. It will attempt to do this by means of a cultural war after the resounding failure of the genocidal blockade it still clings to,” says Fernando Martinez Heredia.
June 3, 2016.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
Cuando a los cubanos se les habla hoy de las bondades del capitalismo y se les trazan planes de ayuda para la transición a ese orden socio-económico, se está suponiendo en sus ciudadanos una amnesia histórica contra la cual están vacunados.
Con el nacimiento del siglo XX, Cuba inició el tránsito directo de una condición colonial a una situación neocolonial en la que todos los factores formadores de conciencia, incluyendo la enseñanza, la prensa y los entretenimientos, enfilaban hacia un modelo de nación capitalista, con la sociedad de consumo estadounidense como paradigma. Profundamente dividida en lo interno por razones de raza, género, ingreso económico, partidos políticos y demás factores, todo se conformaba con los intereses de dominación del poderoso vecino.
Los gobiernos eran electos según propuestas de candidaturas de los diferentes partidos políticos representantes de sectores de la burguesía dependientes casi todos de sus vínculos con Estados Unidos. Los comicios eran espectáculos tragicómicos iniciados con etapas de promesas, pasquines, chantajes, sobornos, estafas, fraudes y malversaciones, interrumpidos en ocasiones por ciclos de violencia que podían incluir intervenciones estadounidenses, golpes de estado y represión con asesinatos y torturas… y sus respuestas correspondientes de rebeldía, hasta llegar al inicio de un nuevo ciclo parecido al anterior.
El restablecimiento reciente de relaciones diplomáticas entre Estados Unidos y Cuba puso fin a una feroz guerra asimétrica entre dos países vecinos, con una clara victoria por resistencia de la nación caribeña, que soportó durante más de medio siglo la violenta hostilidad de la única superpotencia global -el país más rico y desarrollado
tecnológicamente de la época actual-, empeñado en invertir el curso de su historia de luchas revolucionarias por la independencia nacional iniciada en 1868 y culminada en 1959.
Como explicara el historiador y sociólogo cubano Fernando Martínez Heredia, en un reciente panel por el 55º aniversario de la
proclamación del carácter socialista de la revolución cubana: “Al inicio de la segunda gran ola revolucionaria del siglo XX – que tuvo su centro en el llamado Tercer Mundo pero incluyó un ciclo de grandes protestas en muchos países de los llamados desarrollados- el capitalismo apeló, para pasar a la ofensiva y revertir la situación, a manipulaciones tales como: debilitar las instituciones y
coordinaciones que pudieran servir al Tercer Mundo; librar guerras “de baja intensidad”; conservatizar en alto grado las prácticas y el lenguaje políticos; apoderarse de banderas tales como la de los derechos humanos y lanzar campañas como las supuestas luchas contra el narcotráfico y la corrupción…”.
La poderosa maquinaria mediática de Estados Unidos logró escamotear a los pueblos en lucha por su segunda y verdadera independencia en Latinoamérica vocablos tan expresivos de sus objetivos de combate como “democracia” y “libertad” para ponerlos en uso al servicio
precisamente de los intereses más encontrados con el valor semántico y efectivo de esos términos.
“Cuba está entrando en una etapa en la que el gran dilema es desarrollar el socialismo o volver al capitalismo”, advierte Martínez Heredia. “No es una pugna cultural entre el neoliberalismo y la economía estatal lo que se está librando: es entre un socialismo que tendrá que transformarse y ser cada vez más socialista o perecerá, y un capitalismo que ha apostado a acumular cada vez más fuerza social, ir conquistando a la sociedad con sus ilusiones y hacer que se vayan acostumbrando los cubanos a sus hechos, sus relaciones y su conciencia social”.
“El capitalismo sigue existiendo, y no de modo inerte, sino atacando siempre, de manera aguda o crónica, pero también y sobre todo ingresando, retornando, reviviendo, empapando, contagiando las instituciones y las actitudes individuales y de grupos de la sociedad que la quieren nueva y socialista”.
En la batalla entre esas dos maneras de vivir, la del capitalismo ha estado recibiendo muchos refuerzos en la época reciente… Su campo de batalla principal está en la vida cotidiana, las relaciones sociales, el aumento y la expansión de los negocios privados y sus
constelaciones de relaciones económicas y sociales, las ideas y los sentimientos que se consumen.
“La estrategia actual de Estados Unidos contra Cuba deparará un buen número de recursos suaves e inteligentes, cual modernos cazabobos de la guerra del siglo XXI. Pretenden borrar toda la grandeza cubana y reducir al país a la nostalgia de “los buenos tiempos”, antes de que imperaran la chusma y los castristas”.
Es este el enemigo que ahora toca a los cubanos rechazar, el que intenta seducir a Cuba para recuperar el dominio que tuvo sobre la isla por medio de una guerra cultural tras el rotundo fracaso del bloqueo genocida al que aún se aferra, advierte Fernando Martínez Heredia.
Junio 3 de 2016.
Author: Redacción Nacional | firstname.lastname@example.org
23 de mayo de 2016 22:05:40
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
7th. Our Party Congress discussed two important projects: Conceptualization of the Economic and Social Model Cuban Socialist Development and the National Plan for Economic and Social Development 2030: Proposed Vision for the Nation, Axes and Strategic Sectors.
As explained in the Central Report of the important partisan appointment, both documents will be democratically discussed by the Party militants and the Young Communist League, and representatives of the mass organizations and large sectors of society in order to enrich and perfect them.
For the information and knowledge of our population, the full text of the aforementioned projects in a tabloid newspaper of 32 pages and the price of one peso will go on sale at all newsstands press and post offices in the country as of Tuesday.
Download the 32-page tabloid here:
Autor: Redacción Nacional | email@example.com
23 de mayo de 2016 22:05:40
El 7mo. Congreso de nuestro Partido analizó dos importantes proyectos: Conceptualización del Modelo Económico y Social Cubano de Desarrollo Socialista y el Plan Nacional de Desarrollo Económico y Social hasta 2030: Propuesta de Visión de la Nación, Ejes y Sectores Estratégicos.
Tal como se explicó en el Informe Central de la importante cita partidista, ambos documentos serán debatidos democráticamente por la militancia del Partido y la Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas, así como representantes de las organizaciones de masas y amplios sectores de la sociedad con el fin de enriquecerlos y perfeccionarlos.
Para información y conocimiento de nuestra población, a partir de este martes se pondrá a la venta en todos los estanquillos de prensa y oficinas de correos del país el texto íntegro de los referidos proyectos en un tabloide de 32 páginas y al precio de un peso.
Descargar el documento aqui:
Cuba: Permit me to disagree
By Guillermo Almeyra
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
[Reformatted for easier reading on the web.]
Two kinds of problems arise in the recent changes made in the Cuban government, some of form, others of content.
Regarding the former, neither Raúl nor Fidel, or any other official, have taken into account the need to make room for an economic alternative other than the existing one that depends on rules dictated by the market forces, or, for that matter, the need to introduce economic methods based on direct democracy and self-management, where the Cuban citizens-producers would play a more active role as much in decision-making as in the implementation of what is decided thereby.
More centralization, more institutionalization, more resolutions coming from the pinnacle of power, and more wartime-like economics has been the motto, and even the ousting of Pérez Roque and Lage were made, it has been said, to create a more functional structure of government, which reveals unspoken criticism leveled at the typical voluntarism practiced both by those seen as Fidel’s men and by Fidel himself.
That way Cuba has taken some sort of step toward the Chinese path… which we all know where it ended. In other words, a strong power underpinned by its single monolithic party that tries to steer its way into a pragmatic opening to the capitalistic market in order to modernize the country’s economy, increase labor productivity and reduce production costs without too much heed to the social consequences.
However, Cuba is not China, as it has a small, if highly educated, population with a low birth rate and a history of poor productivity, unable to resort to huge amounts of foreign capital because of its very limited domestic market and the lack of a powerful and wealthy Cuban nationalistic bourgeoisie overseas which might be willing to invest in the island.
To cap it all off, a relative shortage of young people makes labor more expensive and, truth be told, Cubans are not easily satisfied, since the Revolution taught them to protest and demand. Furthermore, Cuba can’t just apply the Chinese recipe in the middle of a terrible worldwide crisis which is bound to become worse.
So much for the problems of form: rather than democratize the country, laying the foundations of a government planned from the bottom up by workers’ councils and sidelining the State’s bureaucratic apparatus, the Cuban establishment chose to have a go at the utopian purpose of rationalizing red tape and make the arbitrariness and squandering typical of any vertical system even more effective.
Moreover, I also differ on other points: why weren’t these problems happening in the highest circles informed to or discussed with the men and women in the street?
Instead of presenting the people with a number of faits accomplis, unexplained and obscure as befits a government-owned media which fearful of critical thinking and prone to underestimate the workers’ level of comprehension, why weren’t the merits and flaws of each leader publicly debated?
If the foreign minister and the vice-president of the Council of Ministers misbehaved and misused their status, as hinted in the press release, how responsible are their fellow leaders, starting with Fidel and Raúl?
If they were comrades in the said statement, and kept their high-ranking positions in the Political Bureau, the Central Committee and the government up until they announced their resignation in regrettable Stalin-like self-critical notices where they admit to mistakes not even mentioned, why does Fidel Castro, by whose side they worked for many years, say they became greedy and unworthy men who fed on the sweet nectar of power and had thus played into the hands of the enemy?
Do Raúl and the political and state leaders call comrades and invest powers in unworthy potential traitors, as Fidel tagged them, or is he (Fidel) using their statements to wreck another line –the victorious one?
Was the remark thrown over to Michelle Bachelet about vindicating Bolivia’s right to an outlet to the sea just a gaffe or an internal maneuver about an issue the Cuban government had decided to hush while awaiting for the Chilean president’s visit to consolidate his comeback to the Latin American stage?
Is the uncalled-for anger oozing from Fidel’s statements a symptom of old age or a camouflaged political torpedo destined to keep the various bureaucratic factions –the victors, the centralist military brass, and the vanquished– from engaging in a certain modus vivendi?
What does such cloaked goings-on in the upper echelons have to do with the battle of ideas, that is, with the socialist moral and political education (a task which Raúl has just assigned to the former chief of police Ramiro Valdés)?
What was discussed with Hugo Chávez? The possibility that Venezuela may be forced to cut down on the assistance he gives to Cuba given the fall in oil prices and Cuba’s necessity to take immediate economic action as a result?
Why not disclose and hold an open discussion about Cuba’s outlook and future tasks, especially now that it’s making preparations to hold the Party Congress and restructure the State apparatus?
Are by any chance the moral lynching of leaders who are answerable to and controlled by collective bodies a blow to the ethics of the Party’s rank and file and the respect they deserve?
Socialism cannot break away from democracy, and democracy requires freedom of information and forthright discussion of ideas and proposals.
Bureaucratic secrecy opens your flank to the enemy no less served by those who are always ready to welcome whatever comes down from the state Olympus and spit today on those who until yesterday were their leaders. It’s criminal, particularly in difficult times, to mislead, misinform and depoliticize those who will have to put their creativity, understanding and effort to good use in order to overcome hardship.
Por Guillermo Almeyra
Domingo 8 de marzo de 2009
institucionalización, más decisiones desde el vértice, desde el poder, más
economía de guerra, ha sido la consigna, e incluso los cambios de Pérez Roque y de Lage han sido efectuados en el nombre del funcionamiento de las intituciones, en crítica implícita al voluntarismo que caracterizó tanto a los que aparecían como hombres de Fidel como a Fidel mismo. Se abre así una especie de
camino cubano a la vía china… que todos sabemos adónde condujo. O sea, a un poder fuerte basado en el partido único monolítico que trata de pilotar una apertura pragmática al mercado capitalista para modernizar la economía del país, aumentar la productividad de los trabajadores y reducir los costos de los productos, sin tener demasiado en cuenta las consecuencias sociales.
Además, discrepo igualmente en lo que se refiere a la forma: ¿por qué no se informó y se discutió con los
cubanos de a pie lo que estaba pasando en el aparato? ¿Por qué no se discutieron abiertamente los méritos y defectos de cada dirigente y, en cambio, se prefirió presentar hechos consumados, sin explicarlos y en la oscuridad tan característica de la prensa oficial que teme el pensamiento crítico y subestima la capacidad de comprensión de los trabajadores? Si el canciller y el vicepresidente del Consejo de Ministros fueron indisciplinados y poco
institucionales, como sugiere el comunicado, ¿cuál es la responsabilidad de sus colegas dirigentes, empezando por Fidel y Raúl? Si para el comunicado eran
compañeros y siguieron ocupando altos cargos (en el Buró Político, el Comité Central y el gobierno) hasta que
renunciaron con lamentables autocríticas de tipo estalinista, reconociendo
todos sus erroes que ni siquiera mencionan, ¿por qué Fidel Castro, a cuyo lado trabajaron por muchos años, dice que eran ambiciosos e indignos, cebados
en las mieles del podery proclives a ser utilizados por el enemigo? ¿Raúl y la dirección política y estatal califican de compañeros y dan responsabilidades a indignos y potencialmente traidores como sugiere Fidel, o éste utiliza sus declaraciones como torpedos contra otra línea, la triunfante? ¿No fue una gaffe sino una maniobra interna el arrojarle a Michelle Bachelet la reivindicación de la salida al mar para Bolivia cuando el gobierno cubano callaba al respecto para aprovechar la visita de la presidenta chilena para afianzar su retorno al concierto de los países latinoamericanos? ¿La furia fuera de lugar que empapa las declaraciones de Fidel no es una manifestación de senilidad sino una cobertura para un torpedo político destinado a impedir unmodus vivendi entre las diversas facciones burocráticas, la vencedora, la militar burocrática centralista, y la perdedora? ¿Qué tendría que ver esa fronda en el aparato con una batalla por las ideas, o sea, con la educación moral y política socialista? (que ahora Raúl ha dejado en manos del ex jefe de policía Ramiro Valdés). ¿Qué discutieron con Hugo Chávez? ¿La posibilidad de que Venezuela pueda verse obligada a reducir su ayuda a Cuba ante la caída del precio del petróleo y la necesidad, por consiguiente, de que Cuba tome desde ya medidas económicas? ¿Por qué no informar, no discutir abiertamente las perspectivas y las tareas, sobre todo en un periodo de preparación del congreso del partido y de reorganización del aparato del Estado? ¿Los linchamientos morales de los dirigentes que siempre responden a organismos colectivos y están controlados por éstos no son acaso un golpe a la ética y al respeto a los militantes? El socialismo no se puede escindir de la democracia y ésta exige libertad de información, plena discusión de ideas y propuestas. El secreto burocrático abre el flanco al enemigo y a éste sirven también los que dicen sí a todo lo que viene del Olimpo estatal y están dispuestos a escupir hoy sobre quienes hasta ayer consideraban sus dirigentes. Particularmente en las épocas difíciles es criminal confundir, desinformar y despolitizar a quienes deberán superar las dificultades con su creatividad, su comprensión, su esfuerzo.