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Un sitio de reflexiones maduras, serenas y objetivas sobre la problemática de Cuba y su futuro posible. Puntos de vista sobre Literatura, Economía, Política, Sociedad, Historia y Cultura, así como sobre el exilio cubano en todo el mundo.

Asdrubal Caner

Asdrubal Caner
Escritor y Poeta

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es temprano,siga leyendo

jueves, 8 de noviembre de 2007

EL EXILIO CUBANO: LA DERROTA FINAL DE FIDEL CASTRO

Cuando cualquier cubano o latinoamericano llega a Miami, se sorprende de la laboriosidad, perseverancia, y status social de los cubanos. Pero aun es más emocionante el florecimiento de la cultura, las costumbres y el modo de vida cubano dentro de los propios Estados Unidos. Allí, en Miami está la patria que perdimos, la isla que nos arrebató por la violencia uno de los más brutales dictadores de Cuba y las Américas.

Fidel Castro les quitó todo: fincas, fábricas, bancos, centrales azucareros, etc. Cuando comenzaban los trámites de salida definitiva del país, iba a sus casas una comisión de Bienes Malversados primero, y luego una comisión de los “factores” (CDR, PCC, FMC, etc) para hacer un inventario de todas las propiedades que poseían: joyas, zapatos, ropas, cuadros de pintura, lámpara, muebles, vasos y hasta cucharitas de café. No escapaba nada. Y, desde luego, sus cuentas bancarias. Vivían, durante el tiempo de la espera de la salida, con un profundo desasosiego, de que algo del inventario se rompiera o se perdiera, porque eso podía significar la derogación del permiso de salida. Fueron objeto de inenarrables humillaciones.
Se convirtieron en las primeras “no personas” del régimen comunista. Y las primeras victimas de los paredones de fusilamientos del dictador.

Salieron de Cuba con una mano delante y otra detrás. Con lo que tenían puesto, excluyendo relojes y joyas.

Pero, lo único que no pudo quitarles, fue su sabio dominio en los negocios y en las leyes del mercado. Su agresividad y voluntad para abrirse paso en la jungla enonómico-industrial y comercial de los EE:UU.
Entre 1959 y 1967 llegaron más de 300 mil cubanos. Cuando llegaron, Miami era – según un amigo que allí encontré en 1995 – “una finca con tres faroles”.
Limpiaron pisos, fueron cocineros, barrecalles, empleados de tiendas, trabajadores de factorías y gasolineras, mecánicos y se desempeñaron en mil oficios más. No los detuvo nada ni nadie. Y allí crearon “su Cuba”
La “escoria del Mariel” – como les llamó el sátrapa de Birán - hoy tiene ingresos promedios de $37,000 dólares.
En mi artículo “China: Bye Bye Karl Marx” escribí, sobre los cubanos en EE:UU:

“Llegaron a EE:UU, España y otras partes del mundo. En EE:UU, de acuerdo a su último censo, hay 300 mil empresas cubanas, con un volúmen de ventas de 90 mil millones (tres veces el PIB de Cuba). Constituyen sólo el 5% de los hispanos, pero tienen el 35% de las ventas totales del mundo hispano. Sus ventas están al nivel de las ventas de los japoneses asentados en EE:UU y se han convertido en una de las comunidades más poderosas políticamente de ese país, junto a los judíos”.

Ellos abrieron el espacio empresarial americano para otras comunidades de América Latina. Nicaraguenses, que huyeron de los sandicomunistas, argentinos, mexicanos, colombianos, dominicanos, venezolanos y otros latinos, crean hoy, con los cubanos, unos 300 mil millones de dólares en sus negocios.
Fueron ellos también, por medio de Gloria Estefan y Miami Sound Machine, los que inauguraron el multimillonario negocio de la música y la cultura hispana en los Estados Unidos.

Han mantenido durante casi medio siglo lo más bello y duradero de la cultura cubana y, la han convertido en algo irreductible. No hay ninguna otra comunidad que haya logrado semejante triunfo cultural.

Por eso digo, con extremo orgullo, que el exilio cubano – en EE:UU y en todo el mundo - sus brillantes éxitos económicos, sociales y culturales, constituyen la más esplendorosa derrota sobre la dictadura comunista de Fidel Castro.

Si usted, algun día, viaja a Miami y ve, en las tiendas y en los Mall, un cartel que dice “We speak English”, no se asombre. Detrás de ese cartel, está la mano industriosa de los cubanos.

Un abrazo.

Asdrúbal Caner Camejo
Representante del PSC
en Canadá

EL "EMBARGO" A CUBA

Reproduzco con placer este excelente artículo de Gonzalo González sobre el embargo de EE:UU a Cuba y la verdadera realidad de esa medida.
Un abrazo.

Asdrúbal Caner Camejo

Dos noticias desde La Habana:

Granma Internacional reportó lo siguiente: Naciones Unidas, 30 de octubre - Las Naciones Unidas, por un margen de 184 votos, expresaron su oposición el "bloqueo" contra Cuba. . . .

La Habana (NOTIMEX).— Más de 1,200 firmas de medio centenar de países han confirmado su participación en la XXV Feria Internacional de La Habana (FIHAV 2007), que se efectuará del 5 al 10 de noviembre próximo.

Los que vendan al fiado a la Cuba de Castro necesitarán suerte, o mañas, para cobrar. Espero que recuerden lo que le ha pasado a España:
Según publica este martes (23 de octubre) el diario Negocio (en España) . . . En total, la dictadura de Fidel Castro debe a España 825 millones de euros de los que 125 son créditos FAD y 700 deuda comercial. Si a estas cifras se le añaden los intereses de demora, el montante total se situaría en torno a los 1.719,5 millones de euros. . . .
Actualmente y en términos técnicos, -dice el diario- estos fondos se encuentran en situación de "impago". . . . la dictadura cubana ha declarado, sin dar explicaciones, que no tiene previsto pagarla. . . .
España contempla la condonación de la deuda que Cuba mantiene con España. . . . las autoridades españolas intentarán que los agentes financieros tengan en cuenta las circunstancias económicas de la isla y la escasa capacidad de pago del país. . . .

ACLARACION:

Estoy escribiendo artículos en inglés con la intención de alcanzar lectores en Estados Unidos y otras partes del mundo que no leen en español. En relación al embargo, en español, recomiendo el artículo “La verdad monda y lironda,” por Jorge Salazar-Carrillo, publicado en Perspectiva, El Nuevo Herald, 18 de octubre, 2007.

RECONOCIMIENTO:
A mi amigo Frank Castillo por la revisión de los manuscritos que escribo en inglés. Sus atinadas recomendaciones de cambios en el texto siempre mejoran mis manuscritos.

Cuban Embargo

Trick-or-Treat at the United Nations and at the Havana Trade Fair
The Cuban Granma International website shows the following two news items:
United Nations, October 30 — The United Nations today, by 184 votes, expressed its opposition to the blockade maintained against Cuba for almost half a century by the United States. . . .
WITH the presence this time of 52 countries and more than 1,200 business representatives, the Havana Trade Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary. . . .

Confiscations in Cuba in 1960 and United States Retaliation

Castro’s Cuba confiscated practically all private properties, without compensation, in 1960, including holdings of individuals and companies from the United States. All American properties were estimated at around two billion dollars, at that time.
“September 4, 1961. The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 passes in the U.S. Congress. It prohibits aid to Cuba and authorizes the President to create a "total embargo upon all trade" with Cuba.
February 7, 1962. President Kennedy broadens the partial trade restrictions imposed by Eisenhower to a ban on all trade with Cuba, except for non-subsidized sale of foods and medicines.”[1]
Over the years, some other changes have been made, including what is known as the Helms-Burton Act, H.R.927, Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, sponsored by Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, and Dan Burton, Republican of Indiana.

Blockade

Castro is a skillful propagandist. He gave the embargo the name blockade. During the past forty five years, he has endlessly repeated that the blockade is the reason for all economic failures in Cuba. Let us keep in mind that Castro, as Joseph Goebbels did in Nazi Germany, is putting to work the concept that when a lie is continuously repeated, it turns axiomatically into a truth in the minds of people subject to these ideological outpourings. Also, Castro, as Goebbels did in his time, has absolute control of all the media, including television. Television is the main media tool for advertising in market economy countries. It is the basic propaganda tool for political indoctrination in Cuba, and is used by Castro to hammer into their minds what he wants the people to believe.
Blaming the US embargo for Cuba’s woes has also gained acceptance by many government and forums internationally. The dissemination of the blockade tall tale (“patraña” in Spanish) has been systematically conveyed by left-wing organizations and fellow-travelers from all over the world.

Cuba’s Economic Failures

The truth is that Cuba’s economic failures stem from Communism, as showcased by the poor economic performances of the Soviet Union and its satellite Eastern European countries during the last century.
Inefficient State ownership and control of farms in Cuba is the main culprit of food scarcities as demonstrated by the ration card system, implemented more than forty years ago, which provides meager allocations of foodstuff to the Cuban population. “. . . the existence (in Cuba) of a major dependence on foreign sources for foodstuff while thousands of hectares of cultivatable land are underutilized or left idle. . . .”[2] is undeniable, as confirmed by Raúl Castro’s own words in a speech on July 26, 2007. (A sad recognition of forty-seven years of communist failures.) [3]:
“. . . And I am talking of products that I think can be grown here --it seems to me that there is plenty of land-- and we have had good rains last year and this. . . . No one, no individual or country, can afford to spend more than what they have. It seems elementary, but we do not always think and act in accordance with this inescapable reality.
To have more, we have to begin by producing more, with a sense of rationality and efficiency, so that we may reduce imports, especially of food products, that may be grown here, whose domestic production is still a long way away from meeting the needs of the population.
We face the imperative of making our land produce more, and the land is there to be tilled either with tractors or with oxen, as it was done before the tractor existed. . . .”
President Jimmy Carter in a speech during his visit to Cuba in 2002 said, in regards to the embargo, “. . . I should add that these restraints are not the source of Cuba’s economic problems. Cuba can trade with more than 100 countries, and buy medicines, for example, more cheaply in Mexico than in the United States. . . .”[4]
Nevertheless, Castro dramatizes his blockade tirades calling it “genocide against the Cuban people”, without any concern about the Communist internal conditions that make the Cuban economy fail.

Cuba’s Economic Mismanagement

What did happen with the richness that Castro obtained by confiscating, without compensation, all the properties of Cuban and American individuals and companies? What did happen with the subsidies provided by the Soviet Union and its satellite countries estimated at several billion dollars annually? What did happen with the wealth represented by the products and services received from and not paid for to many of the 100 countries that have or had commercial ties with Castro’s Cuba?
Simply, Castro squandered all of this richness. He is an excellent propagandist, but is also a terrible economic administrator. The Cuban people are chained to an economic system that does not work, where the Communist economic inefficiency is magnified by Castro’s microeconomic whims. On top of these inefficiencies, there were, and still are, significant resources devoted to keeping an expensive intelligence network in foreign countries, to finance turmoil in Latin America, to send expeditionary troops to Africa (for instance, more than 50,000 Cuban soldiers in Angola in the 1970s), to pay for expensive propaganda projects (for instance, a medical school in Cuba, free to foreign students), and travel and living expenses to numerous foreign sympathizers that attend propaganda gatherings in Cuba.
Castro’s Cuba can buy from over 100 countries, as referred to by President Carter. Those countries have not joined the United States embargo. The volume of business has dramatically decreased because of Castro’s policy, in many instances, of “buying but not paying”. Countries with unpaid balances stop shipping their products or services. These countries have learned that they cannot sell to Cuba on credit, (“no se puede vender a Cuba al fiado.”)
Except for Spain, that continues dealing with Castro’s Cuba in spite of the huge Cuban unpaid balances.
The newspaper “Negocio” (in Spain) reported that Castro’s dictatorship owes Spain 825 million Euros. . . . and counting interests accrued on the unpaid balances the total debt is around 1.8 billion Euros. . . . The Cuban dictatorship has stated, without providing any explanation, that they do not foresee paying this debt. . . . Spain is considering cancelling this debt. . . . Spanish authorities are taking into account the economic conditions prevailing in Cuba and its scant paying capacity.
“The truth is that Cuba owes the Western countries grouped in the Paris Club. . . .owes Russia (mostly from the Soviet years,). . . . and owes the ex-Communist countries in Eastern Europe. . . .” “Furthermore there is also another commercial and bank debt in default. . . . with (foreign) private companies and financial organizations (originating from loans and commercial transactions) . . . . Cuba’s situation, as explained by economists, is similar to that of a family when their finances reach a crisis point: what they earn is not enough to pay their debts. . . .”[5]
“Cuban debt amounts to 15.4 billion dollars, that the Central Bank divides in active (7.8) and frozen (7.6,) since 1986,. . . . 60% with Paris Club members, as reported by an official source. The 2006 Statistical Annual Report, National Statistics Office. . . . indicates that the active debt increased 1.9 billions between December 2005 and same month last year.”[6] (These numbers do not include interests accrued on unpaid balances.)

The Cuban report does not include debts to Russia and ex-Communist countries estimated at 24.5 and 2.2 billion dollars, respectively.
Castro’s blockade contention is negated by purchases of foodstuffs from American companies in recent years. The caveat is that Castro’s Cuba has to pay in cash for whatever they buy from USA exporters. “. . . Cuba is to pay about $500 million USD this year (2005) to purchase U.S. products. . . .”[7] This is around the same than the purchases of U.S. products in 2006.
Many people favor the termination of the US embargo, and most of them think that there will be political gains for the United States. “How Castro would keep his hard fist policy after a normalization of relations and commerce with its staunch enemy? How he could justify in front of the world’s public opinion and the Latin American and European governments that he should keep his hard fist against the pacific opposition (in Cuba) when it cannot be argued that dissidents are enemy agents?”[8]
If the embargo were discontinued, the United States, most likely, will keep the cash payment terms. Castro would denounce this no credit policy as an imperialist aggression. If credit terms were allowed, Castro would find some other point of contention. A Cuban government officer recently said that the "blockade" has inflicted damages to Cuba amounting to 89 billion dollars. Castro would put his propaganda skills into play and would coin a new catchy name for the US not compensating for the blockade’s negative effects over the years.

“De casta le viene al galgo ser rabilargo.” (It's in the blood of the greyhound to be long-tailed.) The hard fist is an innate condition for the governing Castro. “A rose is a rose, is a rose.” Castro, Fidel before, and Raul now, is a dictator, is a dictator. Nothing will change them; neither the world public opinion, nor all the saints in heaven. Actually, not even the devil.
(“Verdaderamente, ni el mismo diablo”).


Gonzalo Fernández

Fernández graduated from Havana University with an accounting degree. He is a business consultant in Raleigh, North Carolina. Wrote "Estados Financieros" (Financial Statements), UTEHA, Mexico, third edition, 1966. Fernández is a coauthor of the "Handbook of Financing Growth", Marks, Robbins, Fernández and Funkhouser, John Wiley and Sons, Inc, New Jersey, 2005. He is a Past-President of the Raleigh Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.

[1] Historyofcuba.com, written and compiled by J.A. Sierra.
[2] Oscar Espinosa Chepe, “The Periodical Period,” cubaencuentro.com, October 25, 2001. (Translation.)
[3] Version in English, www.granma.cubaweb.cu.
[4] Carter’s own words to the Cubans,” excerpts from the speech delivered by former President Jimmy Carter in Havana in Spanish. The English translation was provided by the Carter Center at Emory University in Atlanta, The Miami Herald, www.miami.com, posted May 15, 2002.
[5] Pedro Alfonso, “Gigantic Castro’s Debt,” El Nuevo Herald electrónico, March 17, 2002. (Tanslation.)
[6] AFP/Havana (Agence France Presse,) Cuban external debt is over 15.3 billion dollars , July 24, 2007.
[7] www.granma.cu, Digital Granma International.
[8] Miguel Rivero, “The Sea of the Lost Time,” cubaencuentro.com, September 13, 2002. (Translation.)

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