- feb 08, 2012 • 02:28h
- 4 comentarios
One of the collateral effects of the Raúl Castro regime and its program of economic reforms, is the passion for self-deception it arouses on the other side of the Florida Straits. I recently watched a speech by Carlos Saladrigas and asked myself is there is no one capable of telling this gentleman that his enthusiasm for the Cuban “opportunity” is nothing more than a nostalgic mirage disguised as common sense.
The mirage takes on mutant forms, and the most recurrent in recent months seems to be the argument of money as a liberator. That is, in my judgment, a metamorphosis of the famous Fallacy of the Broken Window, so well explained in “conservative” thought. Let’s see: it all starts with a catastrophe or an act of destruction. In this we see (a posteriori) a future economic benefit. The neighbors who get together to discuss the baker’s broken window look a lot like the lobby that today defends the Cuban crisis as a business opportunity. If you think about it — they assure many entrepreneurs — perhaps the current Cuban disaster isn’t such a bad thing. Because it means that everything needs to be done, that free enterprise is about to substitute for the role of the political authority, and that as a part of this process of state capitalism, Cubans will be able to get dollars, and even spend them, which satisfies those advocates of the perfect investment, for whom the greatest possible freedom is the freedom to invest.
The initial act of thuggery — that is the Cuban Revolution — now begins to be seen as a stimulus to the economy, and self-employment as equal to “job creation,” protocapitalism, “the right path,” etc. All this semi-pragmatic opining, ostentatious or discrete, is nothing more than judging the dismal situation of the island from a moral perspective, instantaneously effective, cheap and abstract. As with the baker in the video, who might well have spent the money on something better than repairing the window broken by the thug, Cuba might better have passed through its own rightful course of history, rather than through the trauma of Castro socialism: more income to spend on goods and services, a decent standard of living, something real to be proud of. To defend the Cuban “opportunity” from the perspective of capitalism-to-come is a logical aberration, because at this point Cubans would not be thinking about starting over but about investing in the world with the capital they have been denied by the Castro regime over the last fifty years.
The hooligan Castro has cost the international community dearly, along with this same Cuban exile that now has to pay, with their remittances, for the “updating of the model” proclaimed by Raul Castro. The physical damage and ruin that these five decades have meant is one of the greatest destructions of wealth we can find in our hemisphere. And now, sated with Utopia, we risk making our debut during one of the worst hazings in capitalism, for the benefit it has given to the children of those who caused the bankruptcy — and three or four unscrupulous entrepreneurs who disguise greed as national salvation.
So when someone asks who is more free, a citizen of Haiti or one of Singapore, it’s a good idea to think hard about it, to discard the perspective of the tycoon who confuses short-term benefit with wealth, and to respond with the only truth inseparable from the facts: “neither of them.”
Ernesto Hernandez Busto