Liberty Island appeared on the planet many years ago. The inhabitants of the island, located very close to the United States, during the revolution were able to expel the hated Yankees and assert their power, despite numerous American attempts to reclaim the island. Today we will speak about this island, on which about a week ago, unexpectedly for everyone, the unrest of the people began. But now it is against the people's government.
We, especially the Soviet generation, are used to seeing Cuba as a poor but proud state that has been opposing the United States for many decades. As a country whose people are a priori our ally. As a country to be helped, and she will always help us. And the poverty of the Cubans is explained simply again. The country has been living for many years in a state of economic blockade by the United States. Even diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were restored only under President Obama.
The discontent of the people was caused by the government's policy to combat the pandemic. Cubans are dissatisfied with the rate of vaccinations, the number of vaccinations, and the state of medicine in general. That, you see, is rather strange for a country whose doctors took up the treatment of diseases that were not treated even in the USSR.
This material can be viewed as a kind of continuation of an article about another state - Haiti. Simply because, given the paucity of information reaching us from Havana, some readers may have a wrong opinion about the events taking place. Moreover, outwardly everything looks like another intrigue of the United States.
Reestructuración or revolution
I knowingly used the Spanish analogue of the Russian word restructuring in the title of this section. Perhaps this looks strange to some readers, but, in my opinion, in the events taking place in Cuba today, if there is an American trace, it is not strong enough to rouse the people to protests. Yes, and the Americans themselves today are clearly not up to the island.
Carefully studying the materials that can be found in the world press today, there is a feeling that something is wrong with the protests. They are quite different from what we see in other countries that were once socialist. These protests are, in fact, reminiscent of the protests in Western countries. A sort of "yellow vests" in Cuba.
Cubans are not protesting against the existing political system, they are not protesting against the government's economic and social policies, but against concrete actions to combat the pandemic. Agree, the absence of such demands in the protests is quite a strong argument in favor of the Americans' innocence in organizing the speeches. As, incidentally, and the fact that there are no anti-Russian or anti-American slogans.
What is the reason for the unexpected destabilization of the country? Maybe the Cubans went their own way again?
After all, the revolution that established the existing political system was not socialist. The usual national liberation war with the occupiers. It was later, because of the dull-lordly actions of the United States and the competent actions of the Soviet Union, Fidel Castro decided to build a socialist state.
And the reason, it seems to me, is in personalities. The Castro brothers.
About two months ago, in April of this year, the Castro era in Cuba ended. Brothers Fidel and Raul Castro ruled the country for 70 years! The authority of Fidel and then Raul in Cuba is so high that the mere appearance of these people in front of the protesters could radically change the situation.
As in the Russian revolution of 1917 - the appearance of Felix Dzerzhinsky in front of the rebellious sailors-anarchists ended the rebellion, so the appearance of Fidel Castro in front of the opposition rallies in 1994 turned the anti-Castro rally into a prokastrian one. Fidel Castro, then 68 years old, delivered a speech to the audience. And that was enough for people to follow him.
It was not in vain that I remembered the events of 1994. What happened then was the result of the collapse of the USSR, the consequence, if you will, of our betrayal of the Cuban people. Having collapsed the Union, we have stopped in many ways assistance to Cuba. That has become critical for a country in an economic blockade. The standard of living fell sharply, the deepest economic crisis began. And as a finale - a popular revolt.
Riot, again, with Cuban characteristics. A bit similar to what we saw in the United States after the election of President Biden. Pogroms, robberies, bonfires from cars and more. No coordinating body, no national leaders. And the end of the riot is about the same. They got robbed, banged up and went for a walk. The riot turned into folk festivities. Fidel didn't even judge the gorlopanov. He simply sent them out of the country, as he promised the people.
But the lessons of the riot were heeded. A quiet restructuring began in the country. NEP with a Cuban accent. Keeping power in their hands, the communists allowed small private business. Well-to-do people appeared in the country. The Internet appeared and much more. It is clear that there was no talk of any oligarchs, owners of factories, newspapers, ships. Private business was geared towards tourism.
Even the country's constitution has been changed. The new constitution was adopted following a constitutional referendum on 24 February 2019. For the first time, the communists recognized the existence of private property, approved the offices of president and prime minister, introduced the concept of the presumption of innocence, and banned discrimination against women, people with disabilities and people of different races and peoples. There is even a mention of protecting the rights of LGBT people.
The Castro era ended in April this year. It was in April that Raul Castro resigned as chairman of the Cuban Communist Party. Thus, all power in the country passed to President Miguel Diaz-Canel (the post was restored in 2019). Alas, the new leader of the country is much inferior not only to Fidel, but also to Raul Castro in authority.
It seems to me that what we see in Cuba today is the result of a somewhat lopsided economy of the country. These are really not political speeches. These are purely economic requirements. The confinement of the economy to tourism has led to the fact that the reduction in the flow of tourists has ruined quite a few private traders. This meant that it also hit many workers who worked in private firms.
Who will help the Cubans
Everyone understands that it will be difficult for the Cuban president and government to stabilize the country without external assistance. Today the situation is rather unstable. A new revolution, most likely, will not happen. The Communist Party is quite strong and monolithic, in contrast to the CPSU and "fraternal parties" in Europe at the end of the twentieth century.
It is doubtful that the Europeans will invest in Cuba. European politicians understand that this is a quiet battlefield between the United States and the Russian Federation. All investments will simply be lost in any case. Private firms will work with Cubans, but it is difficult to talk about states in this regard.
It would seem that it is a sin for the Americans not to take advantage of the weakness of the government and not to crush the president and prime minister of Cuba. It would be the perfect end to the many years of "war with the Castro regime." But not everything is so simple. Cubans are not going to give up the leading and guiding role of the Communist Party. This means that the political system will be preserved.
During the existence of the Republic of Cuba, many Cubans fled to the United States. Unlike the Mexicans, for example, the American government supported them in every possible way and helped in the "fight against the Fidel regime." Former Cubans are now actively promoting their ideas to the island.
A large diaspora of immigrants from Cuba now lives in Florida. And, as the past elections have shown, it is this diaspora that plays the leading role there. Trump won in Florida. He won precisely because he pursued a pronounced anti-Cuban policy. So, given the political alignment that exists in the United States today, President Biden is unlikely to risk the votes of an entire state.
We have really strong feelings of brotherhood towards Cubans. And the feeling of guilt for the betrayal of this country remained. Even with all our spending on defense, on the Crimea, on the war in Syria, on social services and so on, we can find several billion. Ultimately, our private companies will be launched there. But ... Cubans also remember everything very well. Including the bad.
Simply put, it is doubtful that relations between our countries will be restored to the level of trust that was before. But it seems to me that we will make attempts. What happens? It is not clear yet.
Here it is definitely - yes. The Chinese will definitely try to "become the main friend of the Cuban people." Moreover, the ruling parties in both countries are of the same political orientation. The economy of the PRC makes it possible to invest in other states without any damage to its own citizens. And, keeping in mind the Monroe doctrine, "stick a needle into the throne of the emperor" of another country is a sacred thing. East…
Alas, it is difficult to formulate a forecast on the further development of the situation in Cuba. You can make assumptions, but for this there are simply not enough facts to rely on. The only conclusion, which, in my opinion, is indisputable, is that Cuba and the Cuban people face difficult times. For their president and government today, the main task is to stabilize the country's economy.
How this will be done is unclear ...