Cuba – a Transition Phrase

By | December 10, 2021

It is in this new geopolitical and geoeconomic scenario that Fidel Castro provisionally resigned on July 31, 2006. Since then, and even more so since the election of Raúl to the presidency, on February 24, 2008, analysts continue to question whether the country is whether or not you are in a phase of political transition. The changes are certainly inevitable because no one among Cuban politicians enjoys an authority equal to that conferred on Fidel Castro by the four faces of his personality: the theorist of the revolution, the victorious military leader, the founder of the state and the strategist., for more than 50 years, of Cuban politics.

Some had predicted a rapid collapse of the Cuban political system, similar to that which occurred in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. They were wrong, falling victim to the same blunder as the American neocons, convinced that all regimes authoritarians are nothing more than an empty facade, ready to unravel at the first blow. It is unlikely that there will be a transition in Cuba similar to that in Eastern Europe, where an authoritarian system imposed from outside and rejected by a large part of the population has rapidly dissolved. Most Cubans do not want a radical change of course at all. They do not want to lose many of the advantages that socialism offers them: even higher education, free health care and housing, safe employment, water supplies. For Cuba 2006, please check

If anything, one wonders if Raúl Castro and his team are making substantial changes to the line of the Cuban revolution. They emphasized three major priorities: food, transport and habitat, three areas in which structural deficiencies and malfunctions give rise to permanent and widespread discontent among the population. Raúl aims to bring concrete solutions to specific problems. In the three areas, progress can already be seen. A general debate was launched, in which more than a million Cubans participated, on how to make the economy more effective and to fight against absenteeism and bureaucratic flaws. There has been criticism of the leaders and institutions of the socialist state. According to many observers, this debate gave rise to an agenda of reforms hoped for by the Cubans, that Raúl has begun to implement. Some measures have already been taken. Public transport, for example, has been greatly increased, with hundreds of buses imported from China. The theme of agriculture is central. Food independence is a fundamental political achievement, without it there is no sovereignty possible. Cuba imports about 80% of the food it consumes. In 2007 the country spent about 1.6 billion dollars on the import of foodstuffs, a sum that in 2008 will rise to 1.9 billion dollars due to the surge in prices on the international market. This expense is all the more unjustifiable if you consider that more than half of the fertile land on the island is uncultivated and unproductive. Raúl therefore launched the motto: “The land to those who value it and produce it for the good of all”. This is the priority: the lands will be distributed among those who request it, with the sole obligation to produce, contributing to the food independence of the island. Other measures in various fields, long invoked by the population and natural for the more advanced countries, have been taken: every Cuban citizen who has the means can now stay in hotels, previously reserved for foreigners. Free DVD players, computers, microwave ovens, motorcycles and cell phones are on sale. Soon, Cubans will also be able to sell and buy cars and housing. The visa, now essential to cross the border, is destined to be abolished. Many administrative procedures complicated by excessive bureaucratization will be streamlined. The administration of the state will be lightened, there will be fewer ministries, fewer obstacles, to make the life of Cubans freer and simpler. There is no doubt that Cuban socialism is evolving. Will he do it in the manner of China or Vietnam? Cuban leaders have studied the example of these two countries in depth, probably drawing inspiration from it. But Cuba will follow its own path. Economic reforms will continue to be implemented, but we will probably see none Cuban perestroika, neither to political openings, nor to multi-party elections. The authorities are convinced that this kind of transition would open the door to American interference and more or less blatant forms of annexation. They consider socialism, even if perfectible, the best choice. In the short and medium term, the primary objective will certainly be to maintain social cohesion.

The most difficult challenge facing Fidel Castro’s heirs is that of relations with the United States. It is a crucial chapter. Raúl Castro has publicly announced that he is ready to sit down at a negotiating table with the White House, to define all aspects of the dispute between the two countries. It is precisely from the United States that a decisive gesture could come for the evolution of Cuba. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama – who in 2003 as a candidate for the Senate had lobbied to lift the embargo and demanded the reduction of travel and travel restrictions. send funds to Cuba – announced its intention to engage in dialogue with all countries considered ‘enemies’ or ‘adversaries’ of America. On February 22, 2008, he claimed the need for a transition in the United States on the Cuban question, declaring that if there are signs of a change “the United States must be ready to move towards the normalization of relations and the easing of the embargo”. It would be a Copernican revolution for US foreign policy after 1961. The US elections in November 2008 could therefore change the climate of relations between the two countries. If the new president decides to end the embargo, he would respond to the current hopes of Cubans settled in the United States, as evidenced by a survey by the International University of Florida, according to which 65% of Cuban-Americans are in favor of political dialogue with L ‘Havana. The end of Bush’s mandate should prompt the White House – in light of the harsh lessons of Iraq and the Middle East – to review its foreign policy and certainly to reinvest itself in Latin America. The United States will discover here a drastically different situation from the one it had worked on from the 1960s to the 1990s. Cuba is no longer isolated. In international politics, the Cuban government is convinced of the need to maintain good diplomatic relations with all countries, whatever the nature of their regimes and their political orientation. As has been said, the Cubans have greatly strengthened their ties with all the Latin American states. They particularly intensified exchanges with the countries of the economic and political organization ALBA (the Cuban government is convinced of the need to maintain good diplomatic relations with all countries, whatever the nature of their regimes and their political orientation. As has been said, the Cubans have greatly strengthened their ties with all the Latin American states. They particularly intensified exchanges with the countries of the economic and political organization ALBA (ALternativa Bolivariana para la América) and signed economic exchange agreements with the Mercosur states. For the first time, Havana has real supporters in power, in Venezuela but also in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. Some of the governments of these countries are not particularly pro-American; it will therefore be in Washington’s interest to redefine relations with each of them, relations that cannot be neo-colonial or based on exploitation, but based on mutual respect. The internal evolution of Cuba will largely depend on the attitude that the next president of the United States will adopt towards the island.

Cuba - a Transition Phrase