Memories and hopes

Por: Antonio López Sánchez

The year 2020 will be remembered by humanity as one of the most terrible of this new century. As if wars, daily miseries and climatic and human dismantling were not enough, an epidemic came to make death fashionable and to change, at least for a good time yet, the lives of all people.

In the midst of that panorama, the clock doesn’t stop. Together with their hands, the various events that will mark the route of our stocks next year are also advancing. Let’s take a short magazine pass, here in intramurals, to try to figure out what the future holds, while we search a little what the recent past leaves us.

Calendar with nasobuco

The year has been marked, first of all, by the brutal expansion of the covid-19. After the life, the viral term, so profuse and sometimes festively used in networks, now sounds terrible because of the vivid and real of its horrors. There are millions of infected and dead, health systems collapsed and, again, together with the heroism of health personnel and the altruistic gestures of countries and simple people, there is also the human destitution of politicians and pseudos.

At this point, there are still some who prefer not to use nasobuco, in the name of personal freedom, or deny vaccines, considering them a method of controlling power. There are plenty of examples of rulers with poor or no management in the face of disease progression, such as the one who claimed that the pandemic would disappear by end. Such examples provide the measure of how stupid a good part of the supposedly rational and superior species is. If these characters were sick on their own, there would be no problems, but each sick person can infect many. Hence the dangerousness of disclosing or practicing such antiscientific nonsense.

In Cuba, despite the very complex economic situation of the country (which the epidemic itself aggravates) the management of the situation by the authorities has been positive. From the milestones of the disease, its follow-up, constant information and education to the population, to the calculation of the magnitudes of possible regrowthes and measures in each case, the future of events has been closely monitored in the country. We have not seen the dantesque images of other nations and our numbers move in acceptable parameters. Unfortunately, despite all this, it is impossible to prevent deaths and contagions. Cuba also pays its share of pain and people’s suffering from its losses, which is impossible to quantify. For families and close friends, a single deceased is an immense figure. There is only the effort to make these numbers as low as possible.

It is undeniable that national authorities have achieved the structuring and functioning of a system of isolation, requisition, prevention and care of the disease, as well as the information and taking of global and particular measures in each circumstance. These lines, not without their obvious shadows and encounters, usually resolved, have worked positively on the part of those responsible for driving such efforts. The population, albeit with ups and downs, has largely responded as well. Despite the regrowthes, the infected remain under control and that expresses that there is more care on the part of people, when taking on their responsibilities.

The negative part has been the impossibility of state bodies to maintain regular and well-distributed supplies of a good list of vital products, in order to avoid the queues that have been made our bread for months. Prices in agros and black markets, empty shelves in CUC stores and a latent difficulty in purchasing food and other products have been the other condition that the pandemic has brought. This relates to another of the factors that mark 2020 and that keeps experts, soothsayers and skeptics in the 2020s. What does 2021 bring us in terms of economics? Let’s make a short panning, no magic ball.

 

The unbearable lightness of weight weight

Undoubtedly, the main economic event of the coming year will be monetary reunification. The still vilified Cuban peso must regain its value as a single currency and, as he will once pray on his paper body, serve to pay for any obligations incurred in the national territory. Promised pay increases should return the other vilified, the salary, the ability to act as the protagonist of daily subsistence. Seen in this way, there can be nothing negative about such pretensions.

Right now, however, there are more questions than possible answers. The detail of the creation of stores in MLC, and the desupply of the formerly proud and colorful shelves in CUC, causes mistrust and misgivings. For many, it means just putting a more expensive necklace on the same monetary dog that for three decades has divided into affluent and unfortunate classes to our country, depending on the currency that your pockets hold. Again, the ghost of having to purchase the necessary products in a currency that we do not perceive for our work rises in the present and makes us look to the future. With the aggravation that, now, this other currency is not even generated in the country itself, but depends on remittances from abroad and on political swings of its own and others. The authorities have stated that the economy will not be dollarized, that the measures are provisional, which is a momentary necessity in the face of the current scenario we are going through. Let us all hope that this provisionality does not eter another three decades.

On the other hand, the Cuban economy itself, despite guidelines to be implemented and plans to be carried out, has not just been firmly enrumred to produce more and better. There are still thousands of problems, written and mental, that survive despite so-called presidential and popular and specialized voices and that hinder the day-to-day life of the population in multiple capital lines. The pandemic is a serious aggravation that cuts exports, imports and prevents valuable inscaties of money into the country from tourism and other items. The Donald Trump administration’s manifest hostility, its measures to stifling the Cuban economy, plus the persistence of our own mistakes and blockades, do not make the picture easier and clearer. The economic change looming on the island should also change mindsets, erase bureaucracies, and simplify many processes that hurt the takeoff of our economy and many images of the nation’s domestic life.

At the moment, not a few emulos of the everlasting Saint Thomas wait entrenched in seeing to believe. In the face of the almost total lack of fish and daily tails for breads, none of them multiplied despite certain overly optimistic, ignorant or complacent voices, there is no shortage of reluctance in the assessment of what will come. May these skeptics see not only the repeated nail marks and spear wounds of scarcity and inefficiency in the body of our pockets and day-to-day tables, but the already essential definitive resurrection of the national economy.

 

Politics and sugar

The other scenario that marks this 2020 is the electoral defeat of Donald Trump in the race for the presidency of the United States. Lots of fabric to cut through there to analyze this fact. Let’s outline just a few, the closest ones.

First of all, the stark polarization, here and in the United States, is striking not of Democrats and Republicans, but of Cubans on both sides in the stances for or against the northern tycoon. Sad is hatred, the desire of some who until recently also walked our streets, that the U.S. government will continue to try to sink the Cuban economy, pending a supposed anti-government popular rebellion. Some, angry, question the interest of this shore (as if in Russia, France or Japan there is not the same interest in such results) and even argue that we should first resolve our affairs before meddle in others. In honor of the truth, the presidential result of the largest power on the planet is everyone’s interest. The worst part is that many of these defenders of today’s democracy, just yesterday, were here and suffered the consequences of the attacks outside and the stubborn ones inside. Those of us who are still here, under those visions, are guilty of staying and “doing nothing,” hence we deserve suffocation.

Of course, Joe Biden is neither a communist nor will he give up on the goals of changing the Cuban social and political system, nor will he remove the blockade tomorrow. However, the very idea of a representative trying to get two countries to take themselves as respectful neighbours, without one trying to harm the other with violent coercive measures, is in itself a source of optimism. The more the ties between the two nations widen, in every sense, the easier life must be for many, on both sides, and the more feasible to move forward in the dialogue of the most ríspid issues.

Play now, if Biden is finally more rational, do not respond to the hand reached out with the enochation and bravado. For many, unfortunately on both sides, hatred, tension and confrontation constitute their way of life and livelihood. If confrontation is over, there are thousands of pretexts, acts of mutual perennial aggression and juicy sources of business and ideological and economic support that benefit a few on both sides today. Good relations, thousands of possibilities for mutual cooperation in dissimilar areas, détente, would benefit many more, especially many families.

A new presidency of the United States with less aggressive attitudes towards Cuba would not be the biblical mana, nor will it magically solve our many problems (for many depend only on us). However, without discussion, it would make daily life much more bearable to a village that already has few shortages and limits. Without genuflexions, nor internments, but also without the offense a priori, without anchilosings that perpetuate this modus vivendi based on antagonism, a relationship as equals would bring peace, prosperity and relief.

Then, with the arrival of a new year, there is a minimal but tangible sun, which seems to rise on the horizon to come despite the many stormy heavens that haunt us. Hope, that incredible human quality, is again the engine that makes the spirit overcome in the face of adversity. At most, simply changing the calendar to a new year will not bring magical transformations. However, that new leaf of the almanaque, under the spell of our strengths and wills, may be the light that finally dissipates the shadows that have accompanied us lately. With our faith and our efforts, let us try to make it shine. Ω

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