Last Tuesday I was one of the dozens of thousands of Cubans who witnessed the exhibition game that pitted the MLS team Tampa Bay Rays against the Cuba baseball team in Latinoamericano Stadium of Havana. For obvious and logic organizational reasons, I could not witness live the speech given by President Barack Obama at the Great Theater of Havana.
Nevertheless, his speech broadcasted live on television for Cuba, like every other intervention of the North American president during his visit to the island. It can be watched on the YouTube website of Minrex, institution that streamed the entire official program of this visit.
As Obama’s security adviser for strategic communication Ben Rhodes announced proudly, his words were in fact, historical.
Who would have thought a few years back a president of the United States would give a speech in the very center of Havana which would be broadcasted live for national television, nothing less than to offer the people of Cuba a "future of hope."
"It is time now for us to leave the past behind- the president said - it is time for us to look forward to the future together (in Spanish), a future of hope."
But what future and hope does Obama really wishes for Cuba?
The U.S. president said in his speech at the Great Theater, that he has encouraged the Congress to lift the embargo because it’s "an obsolete burden on the shoulders of the Cuban people. It’s also a burden for North Americans who want to work and to make business or invest here in Cuba. It’s time to lift the embargo."
But as we can tell from his own words, the wall, will apparently, only fall for those "entrepreneurs" who join the self-employed sector, and not likely for the state sector that has attained breakthroughs in Education and Health which he acknowledges. At the entrepreneur (cuentapropistas in Cuba) forum he was more than blunt and enthusiast to offer a market and all the help necessary to a small company that designed T-shirts, but he digressed widely when somebody proposed to negotiate with the achievements of Cuban biotechnology that could benefit the health of the North American people.
It would be worth wondering if, after such changes that the president – who doesn't want to impose us anything - suggests, the entrepreneurs he promotes, "hope of the youth", will keep profiting free of charge from the achievements of Health and Education provided by the State which he acknowledges.
A fundamental doctrine of all empires throughout history has been that of “divide and rule”. The United States has been expert in creating showcase countries and cities.
There are examples such as Western Berlin, both Koreas and Miami itself, which the US president cited as an example of prosperity. Could it be that after half a century of a brutal blockade, U.S. intends now, with its capitalism-fostering help, to build another Miami, not just ninety miles away from our shores, but within Cuba itself?
“It should be easier to open a business here in Cuba. A worker should be able to get a job directly with those companies that invest here in Cuba”, said Obama. Is he talking about textile factories with learned workforce?
As regards the so-called civil rights, what changes is Obama proposing us? The recognition of an opposition financed and trained in his country? The million bills of the USAID or the ill-named Radio Marti, dedicated to encourage subversion in Cuba, also form part of the shadow of history that he does not want to remember? I, like all Cubans, decent and patriotic, fully agree with Obama that all “citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear, to organize and criticize their government”. In fact, according to a popular joke, all Cubans perform this exercise at least fifteen minutes a day. Actually, the people of Cuba disagree with the fact of having to assume the ideals of a small group paid by a foreign power, which now intends to make believe that it doesn’t want to impose us anything. By the way, the president of the United States met with those wage earners after his speech. On civil rights, Obama actually, should congratulate the Cuban government because of its excess of kindness and patient.
Regarding family separation, neither Obama nor his melodramatic speech advisor has a clue of how painful it is for millions of Cubans. But the blockade policy, despite the new desires of Obama, imposed to create economic needs and unhappiness, does not just form part of the shadows of history, nor does the Cuban Adjustment Act, which benefits the Cuban immigrant over the rest of the world, and whose sole aim is to encourage death regattas in Florida Straits or migratory waves in Central America that serve to carry out media attacks against the Cuban Revolution.
With regard to democracy, the president of the United States should be ashamed to recommend that of his country to someone, if, as he admits it has many defects. Will it also be part of the shadows of the history that U.S. has tried and is still trying to impose, in all possible ways, its failed model all over the world? Accepting Yankee arrogance, apparently, is not comprised in the changes that Obama is proposing us. Who has been able to convince him that he, a mestizo boy and without much money, holds the “highest post on earth”? Finally, what? Are we going to build a world where we all are equal or where some are above others?
In the case of Cuba, if Obama really wants to leave the past behind and to cultivate a white rose, he should come down from that cloud of arrogance. Something that, by the way, is not achieved just saying “what’s going on” or playing dominos in Havana.
Cubasi Translation Staff