The Future, Questions and Predictions to Break / Yoani Sanchez
Posted on November 25, 2013
Ten prognostications, ten failures, ten predictions that did not even
make it to a dead letter. This is what a Decalogue of possible future
prognostications — personal and national — that would have been made in
2003 has been reduced to. Such that, knowing the twisted paths events
take, today I am trying to imagine the surprises in store for us in the
next decade. I know — at least I know this — it will be difficult, very
difficult times are coming for everyone. To forget, as we go to bed one
night, the huge problems we do indeed have, and pretend we will wake up
to another day, isn’t going to happen. It’s very naive to believe we can
shake off this totalitarianism and all that will result from it. It’s
not going to happen, new problems and new challenges will begin. Are we
prepared for them?
Are we prepared for a society where the responsibility lies with us and
not with the State? A country where we can choose a president, but where
he could perhaps turn out to be corrupt, a liar, an authoritarian? Are
we capable of realizing, in that case, that we voted to name a “father,”
rather than a public servant who answers to us? How long will it take
for us to lose our suspicions about everything that contains the world
“social” or about the unions, who today are simply transmission poles
for the powers-that-be to the workers? Are we ready for tolerance? Can
we live together peacefully with those of other political viewpoints and
ideologies who take the microphones and propose their programs? Will our
inexperience, perhaps,l launch us into the arms of the next populist?
Are we aware that we will experience a Cuba where, most likely, there
will be a lot of nostalgia for the Castro regime? What will we do if,
instead of real change, those who are now part of the Nomenklatura
exchange their olive-green uniforms for the suits and ties of
How will we react to immigration? Right now we only know the phenomenon
of those who leave and also those visitors who — briefly — come as
tourists to our land. However, we must know that if we manage to build a
prosperous country, others will come to stay. How will we receive them?
What will be the effects of so many years of shortages and rationing on
personal consumption? Will families put themselves deeply in debt buying
everything they see on TV? How will we resolve the dilemma of State
property versus privatization? Will it be possible to maintain the
extensive educational and hospital infrastructure throughout the
country, while improving its quality, breaking the bonds of ideology,
and paying employees dignified salaries? What will happen to the
enormous governmental and official apparatus, whose costs fall on our
shoulders to an extent we can barely conceive of?
As you can see, rather than certainties, I only have questions.
Questions that haunt me when I speak of the future of my nation. At
least some things are clear to me: I will be in Cuba, I will do
everything I can to help my country and will try — through journalism —
to dispel many of these doubts or to amplify them until someone responds.
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