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From Failure to Failure / Fernando Dámaso

From Failure to Failure / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Dámaso, Translator: Unstated

According to the latest official figures, the 2011-2012 sugar harvest

(still unfinished) will amount to only 1.4 million tons, similar to that

of the year 1895 in the 19th century, when the War of Independence

against Spanish rule began. It doesn't seem like 117 years have passed!

In other economic lines the failures, like the sorrows of the popular

song, also crowd in: in the production of milk, beef, pork, vegetables,

fruit, etc. It's better not even to mention fish — we apparently live in

a landlocked territory and not in an archipelago.

Much of the unproductive land of the state farms is full of maribou

weed, and continues to be unproductive and full of marabou weed in hope

of some decision from on high that will require it to be turned over to

the campesinos, even if it is only for their exclusive use and not

ownership (beggars can't be choosers!). And the stockpile (also

state-owned) of agricultural products continued from bad to worse. The

sale of building materials to the populace, to repair their homes,

cannot keep up with demand, and is also a breeding ground for

lawlessness and corruption, which prevails in many areas of society,

despite the unleashed and repression, because they do not

attack the root causes — low wages in national currency, which do not

meet the minimum needs for survival.

In the so-called hard-currency stores the shortage of basic commodities

is striking, revealed by shelves either completely empty or with just a

few exotic items, which nobody buys because of their high prices. To

tighten the citizens' belts even further, the new regulations

that will be implemented soon (the date is constantly changing)

eliminate the exemption for products that they enjoyed in recent

years. Now they are included in the maximum weight that will be allowed

to enter. In the often repeated words of that sage Bobo de Batabanó: "We

were few and Catana gave birth!"

The few measures taken, authorizing with limitations what should never

have been prohibited (buying and selling homes and vehicles, small

private businesses, some self-employed trades, etc.), have no direct

impact on the causes of the national economic crisis, as they relate

mainly to the area of services and not to production.

Despite the speeches, official statements, articles in the press, and

the triumphalism of the news, both television and radio, this truly

serious situation is very difficult to conceal from the eyes of the

population, who have to suffer daily.

Because of this, it is noteworthy that they dedicate so much time and

space to criticizing the little that the of the United States

(our eternal enemy) has done in his nearly four years in office, without

saying anything about our four. Four years is equivalent, in most of the

democratic countries, to a full presidential term. So far no visible,

real, or stable results have appeared anywhere, nor can the beginning of

any solution to our long crisis be felt. While updating "the model" and

repeating each of the "guidelines," chapter and verse, until boredom

sets in, we are moving backwards, like the crab. Perhaps that is the new

way forward in the socialism of the 21st century, and I am showing my

economic illiteracy! Anyway, the tunnel is as dark as before, without

any light visible, and time passes inexorably.

June 6 2012

http://translatingcuba.com/?p=18927

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