Miércoles, 26 de Julio de 2017
14:40 CEST.
CUBA-US RELATIONS

Annexationism among Cubans

A group of Cuban intellectuals gather at Cuban TV's Round Table (a misnomer) to analyze (once again) Donald Trump's alteration of America's policies towards the Cuban Government. They insist on accusing US leadership of harboring annexationist intentions, albeit only cultural —the preferred form today among many Cubans, although those in the Government stress those of an economic nature.

However, annexationist sentiment is somewhat broader than that suggested by the panelists. Actually, there have always been Cubans who have not believed that we can govern ourselves, as they harbor ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, the best is expected from the US. We are almost as close to the country as Mexico, and many believe that Cuba has more of a right, and is better prepared, to be the 51st state than Puerto Rico.

On the other hand, the US is the menacing power that, it is said, wishes to seize the Island towards some supposedly sinister ends.

However, the annexationist tendency is not entirely the people's fault, or that of Cuba's neighbors to the North. A country whose rulers do not permit dissension unleashes pent-up feelings that, as they cannot be processed through democratic channels, give rise to extreme positions that in no way benefit the nation.

The Cuban Government is responsible for young people seeing migration to the United States as the only answer to their problems; among other reasons, because once they finish school they face the prospect of low-paid and unattractive jobs, and the future of their children is even less promising.

More than annexationism, the phenomena that can be seen in the Cuban people are frustration, skepticism, and a waning will to fight. The dictatorship crushed the people's determination to rebel, but at the same time annihilated its creative drive. The few who dare to fight choose the path they find best. At times ways they are paths that may seem wayward, but, in the current situation of uncertainty, who can say what should be done?

The Government wields all its weapons against dissidents: scheming, disqualifications, false accusations, threats, arrests, kidnapping, confiscations of mobile phones and computers, eavesdropping on telephone conversations, isolation campaigns between neighbors, prohibitions on travel abroad or even to other provinces, and everything else that occurs to them. Now they are trying to discredit those dissidents who met with Trump, as if the rest mattered to them.

When annexationism peaked in the 19th century, Cuba was subject to a colonial tyranny delegitimized by the winds of freedom blowing in America. In the half century of the Republic after independence, we did not develop enough, due to rulers who were still stuck in the past, two of them devolving into dictators.

As a collateral consequence, Cubans have always looked expectantly at their powerful neighbor. This Revolution, with its absurd Communist leaders belonging to another era, has managed to push Cubans back to the nineteenth century, and see American aid, or even annexation, as valid solutions in response to the tyranny to which they are subjected, in no way different from that perpetrated by the Spanish Crown.

The reaction to Trump's speech among us reflects the satisfaction of the downtrodden, who are denied the chance to raise their voices against their despots, after seeing a leader publicly denounced. We ought not exaggerate. This is not annexationism, it is just reveling.

The more the Cuban Government refuses to change all that must be changed, the more isolated it will be, and more and, as more and more people see annexation as an actual possibility, the undeniable disintegration Cuba is undergoing will be spotlighted.

It is not the unlikely prospect of annexationism that threatens the country. Rather, it is real Communism, imposed without tolerating dissension, which spawns unproductiveness, emigration, increased prostitution, administrative corruption, common crime, apathy and deception. Parodying the poet, “in short: evil.” The destruction of the country by blows from the hammer and sickle.

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