On Friday the 12th, the economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe – an honorable prisoner of conscience from the 2003 Black Spring, on parole – gave us a lecture at the Blogger Academy on the state of the Cuban economy at the end of 2009.
He showed us, with facts, figures, tables and benchmarks, how the system in place since 1959 is in its terminal phase. The inability to generate wealth due to its inefficiency and unproductivity over a long period prevented it from replacing what it spends. Instead of implementing appropriate economic changes it began a process of self-cannibalism, and has devoured itself. Fortunately, the disaster is of such magnitude that it is impossible to perpetuate it.
Structural transformations involve socio-political changes that generate redistribution of power. For this reason the snake has preferred to swallow its own tail and engorge itself. With criminal arrogance the regime has gobbled up everyone’s inheritance.
Those in power would prefer to implement minimal changes without affecting their own exploitative interests. But the Gospel of Matthew tells us: No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins will break — the wine will spill out, and the wineskins will be ruined. Instead they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
I contextualize this biblical quotation when I see the octogenarian State Council Vice-President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura all over the country, with the presumption that young people will continue with the aged vessels. I am in touch with that generation and I know perfectly well that they are already making their own wine and preparing new wineskins.
Translated by: Tomás A.