The Future, Bring it On! / Fernando Dámaso
Fernando Damaso, 5 November 2016 — A feature of the Cuban authorities,
since taking power in January 1959, has been wasting time planning for
the distant future rather than focusing on solving the present and the
near future. Perhaps it is because, from the outset, they decided to
These plans, at first, focused on specific services or productions:
solving the housing problem, meeting the demand for rice (draining the
Zapata Swamp), producing peanut oil (Valley of Viñales), reducing
imports of industrial products , finding and extracting oil, raising
sugar production (the Ten Million Ton Harvest), the dairy plan, the
livestock plan and others. Most, as is known, ended in dismal failures.
With the incorportation into the "socialist camp" appeared the famous
"Five Year Plans," where everything was planned year by year, and they
even arrived at the famous "Strategy 2000," in the late seventies, which
was to be a set of twenty-year plans, divided into five-year periods.
At that time there was no talk of the blockade (embargo), other than as
a reason for mockery ("a sieve" the currently nonagenarian leader said
once) because the Soviets were responsible for supporting the country
with huge economic and other aid.
For the breaches and failures, which were a constant, hurricanes, heavy
rains, droughts and other natural phenomena, the irresponsibility and
inability of the authorities were never blamed. Occasionally appearing
as causes, real or fictitious, were epidemics and plagues, which were
charged to the near-at-hand "imperialist enemy"
With the disappearance of the "socialist camp," the "Strategy 2000" and
the five-year plans collapsed, the so-called "Special Period" was
established and the hand of the blockade (embargo) began to be ascribed
full responsibility for all the misfortunes, an attitude that still
remains, despite the improvement of relations between Cuba and the
As a result of the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, among
other theoretical issues, the Cuban authorities once again turned their
backs on the problems of the present (the absolute housing shortage,
widespread lack of productivity, roads in poor condition, poor services
of all kinds, wages of misery, layoffs of workers in the state sector,
social indiscipline, rampant corruption, theft, street violence, etc.),
and they spend their time, and many of their political and economic
"cadres", planning how Cuba will be in 2030.
In addition to trying to force new generations to execute their wishes
after they physically disappear, they opt to continue bamboozling
everyone with the old and failed formula of a "bright socialist future,"
a future that, in fifty-eight years of mismanagement, inefficiency and
voluntarism they have never been able to realize, and one that is ever
more distant and unattainable.
Source: The Future, Bring it On! / Fernando Dámaso – Translating Cuba -