A Complicated Year
A Complicated Year / Fernando Dámaso
Fernando Damaso, 15 January 2017 — The year 2017 begins. A year that
promises to be complicated and definitive for Cubans. The country, with
a 0.9% drop in GDP, is stuck in a prolonged economic, political, social
crisis, and the general-president, if he complies with his word to leave
the presidency on 24 February 2018, has barely thirteen months and a few
days to undertake reforms, that will pull the country out of the same
stagnation, accentuated by the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist
Party, and the appearance of the “historic leader.” That one, deceased
on 25 November 2016, has left him as an inheritance a nation full of
His actions, since his brother’s illness and under his shadow, have
consisted principally of eliminating absurd prohibitions and applying
some shallow reforms, without any depth, that will not assure the
survival of the country nor its citizens, who have been failed.
The problems accumulated under the rug have abounded. In the economy:
there is a need to authorize professionals to work for themselves, to
raise salaries to increase production, to resolve the entanglement of
the two currencies, and to draft a new investment law that will really
act as a stimulus.
In the social sphere: tackle the problem of lack of housing and the
deterioration of the existing housing stock, improve public
transportation and other services, and eradicate the unhealthy
conditions, the galloping social indiscipline and the generalized
In the political: listen to other opinions in the analysis and solution
and existing problems, and intelligently manage the relations with the
new government of the United States.
Daunting tasks, no doubt, that need hours of work, of cold and objective
evaluation and brave decisions. 2017 cannot be a year of more of the same.
Source: A Complicated Year / Fernando Dámaso – Translating Cuba –