Many wonder what will happen in Cuba in the days, weeks and months that lie ahead, given the tension spawned by the systemic failure of the regime and the spread of citizen protests the likes of which had not been seen in the last 62 years. For the first time the balance seems to lean more towards the fall of the "Havana Wall" than towards the regime's perpetuation in power.
It is still difficult to know when it will happen, but in any case, no matter how the regime resists the forces of change, what represents the new will end up prevailing over all that no longer works.
The so-called "Cuban Revolution" is dead because it was tailor-made for a dictator who had no qualms about designing and implementing it at his convenience, employing sheer terror. For this, he did not hesitate to eliminate every obstacle that stood in his way; any threats to his power and hegemony were wiped from the face of the earth, including several charismatic comrades acclaimed by the people after 1959.
The Revolution lost its direction and went off the rails the day the executions, summary trials and expropriations began, strategies that the dictator executed very well with his incendiary, megalomaniacal and messianic speeches, an explosive mixture that hypnotized the masses.
That delusional frenzy was the fuel that made all Fidel Castro's madness and drivel viable in the shadow of the Revolution. While, on the one hand, he lulled and tamed the people, on the other he seized every bit of economic and political power, eliminating adversaries, nationalizing companies, overwhelming civil society, destroying the nation's business fabric, wiping out social classes, eliminating the constitution, and forging alliances with world powers.
The transformation of Cuban society was brutal, fast and pyromaniacal. Nothing was left standing. Castro swept away the church, traditional customs, and civic education. He nationalized education and altered the curriculum at every level to suite his every whim and accord with his own vision of how he wanted history to be told. Communist indoctrination then began from an early age, to realize its conception of creating a new man.
Today, that doctrine no longer has any value, and rather than inspiring or convincing the masses, it scares them away. It is gone forever, along with its omnipotent creator. What remains is the aftermath, the rotten inertia of a Revolution that, no matter how the loyalist caste struggles to revive it, is dead. Now, a new revolution is on the way.
The coming revolution
A new revolution is surging up, strong, within Cuba. Who is driving it? The discontented masses and, on the front lines, young people who are weary of indoctrination, of lies, of the trap of living in a society where the individual is born a slave to dogma, of a doctrine that subdues and deprives him of his most elemental rights.
What is at the root of it? The desire for freedom, the dream of creating a just and inclusive society where rights are not violated and where the individual can express himself, associate, and generate wealth freely.
What do they aim to demolish? An obsolete, primitive system that enslaves and submits the individual in all areas: politically, economically, socially, in his beliefs and ideology; and that turns him into an automaton, without personality, autonomy or the self-esteem to fend for himself.
This new revolution is born out of civility, not violence. This is why it has gathered so much momentum in such a short period of time. Its arguments are solid, its demands are valid, so it is sparking interest and sympathy not only on the Island, but also in the world. Its message clashes head-on with the regime's insistence on business as usual. It is transparent, clear, inclusive, peaceful, and conciliatory; it does not call for confrontation between countrymen, but rather cooperation and civilized dialogue - just the opposite of what the regime puts into practice to counteract it.
As this new movement grows and expands on the island, and reaches international borders, the idea that its aims may be realized is taking root among Cubans. Its mantra is generating a genuine and authentic leap of faith in a society desperately seeking a change that restores, once and for all, rights that were wrested from it more than 62 years ago.
The people at Archipiélago embody that faith, which is already contagious between Cubans on and off the island, coming together in the same desire: the dream of seeing our homeland free.
Business as usual is not an option - nor is terror
If the social explosion unleashed on July 11 demonstrated something, it was that the status quo is not an option, as it is not what the people want. The new troika has insisted on following an orthodox playbook drawn up by the mafia in power, but it has failed. Rather than carry out sweeping reform, the president-designate has stuck to the elderly cadre’s script and, like an obedient puppet, ended up staining his hands with blood.
And thus, all the economic measures implemented by the Díaz-Canel government have been a genuine fiasco, manifesting the power vacuum in the regime today. Raúl Castro and his geriatric cronies’ selection of Díaz-Canel, in addition to being objectionable, has proved a fatal error, typical of a generation in decline without any vision of the future, clinging to a prehistoric dogma and a primitive and anachronistic form of government that is totally out of place in today's world.
When he stepped down, Raúl Castro knew perfectly well that Díaz-Canel was not going to measure up. He just used him, and continues to. In the style of Cosa Nostra, Castro delegated true power to his family. Everything else is just window dressing.
When he resigned the dictator relieved the octogenarians of real power and left it in the hands of his ex-minister General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, who spans all four power bases on the island: he controls the country's finances and the dollarized economy through the GAESA business emporium, he is part of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, he is a general of the Armed Forces, and a deputy in the National Assembly. His son, at the same time Castro's favorite grandson, controls the personal security of the country's leaders, providing them with bodyguards who watch over their every movement. Alejandro Castro Espín, for his part, controls the intelligence and counterintelligence apparatuses, now from behind the scenes, after the National Security Commission under his command was dismantled (to the chagrin of many generals who disagreed with this appointment) as a result of the sonic attacks scandal, which ended up torpedoing the diplomatic thaw, revealing that this was nothing more than a plan B, urgently aborted.
The visible face of the status quo was, therefore, that of Miguel Díaz-Canel, a gray character devoid of charisma, articulating dull, mediocre discourse full of vapid phrases, sometimes with bellicose and vulgar language that, far from generating sympathy, produces repulsion and boredom. In this way, Raúl Castro's error exacerbated the power vacuum, and with it, accelerated the process leading to the regime's fall - which, as he well knows, will see a turning point on the day of his own death.
During this interim between his retirement and his death, Raúl Castro was surprised by the protests of July 11. He then seized the opportunity to push Díaz-Canel towards his political suicide as proof of his loyalty to the regime by having him give the order on Cuban television to repress defenseless people protesting in the streets in a peaceful and spontaneous way.
From then on the reactionary troika headed by Díaz-Canel has been sullied by executing the strategy of terror devised and pre-established by Castro, his octogenarians and most recalcitrant generals, to survive and retain power.
This has aggravated the population's rejection of the current president, as a figure. The limited popularity he had at the beginning of his term has been further undercut, turning him into a political corpse. The terror strategy unleashed by the regime has further worsened the crisis and the power void affecting the country today. The more terror the regime unleashes, the more followers the civic movement born in the wake of the July 11 protests attracts. The strategy of terror, then, marks a prelude to the revolution's demise.
Citizen protests have cornered a regime whose sun is setting as it thrashes to survive. The civic movement - which emerged as a result of the deterioration of the country's political, economic and social situation - has brought an irrefutable truth out into the light: the Revolution is dead, it is technically irreformable, its ideological and political foundation is broken, it no longer draws crowds, it does not spark interest or sympathy, and no one believes in its present or future. Instead, it only produces sadness, anguish, and hopelessness.
This is why the country needs a change: to believe again that building an inclusive society with opportunities for all is possible. The current scenario features a very clear and objective reality: the regime has run out of resources to survive, to justify its power. All it has left is terror and violence.
At this point, the regime is being spurned by the people and the international community, isolated from the world, in its death throes, falling into its own trap as it hastens its own end. There are no longer any benefactors who can save the revolution, because the people have lost faith in it. Now the people have faith ... in change. The spell has been broken. It is only a matter of time.