I often ask myself about the Cuba that I imagine in the future. Almost without batting an eye I answer, “I dream of a nation difficult to govern.” A country with a pluralist parliament in which each paragraph of each law requires hours of discussion and lobbying, with many viewpoints and divided opinions. In such a nation there would be no unanimous votes, nor would it have charismatic leaders with their speeches of easy metaphors pulling in unconditional followers. There would be no applause or standing ovations, but there would probably be whistles of disapproval and the boos of the discontented.
The education of citizens to live in a nation like the one I imagine would probably be autodidactic, because I have the impression that there is not a sufficient formal bibliography for this. We must now learn the rules of the future.
The least one would expect from a democratic assembly is that it would not come to the point of a vote or accept consensus around a proposal until it had heard different ideas. Each demand, each goal, would have to be elaborated and discussed before becoming a proposal. Meanwhile, the more groups, subgroups and individuals involved the better.
To aspire to unity is an aberration, whether from power or from the opposition. There are people who claim that unity builds itself around them, unity around them is the first thing that happens, without stopping to think if that is what everyone really wants.
Cuba is sick and the solution to her problems will not appear until all Cubans, those inside and outside the country, have the opportunity to calmly discuss the many options, the many priorities that present themselves. I have my own personal recipe which is summarized in three words: “Decriminalize political dissent.” Who doesn’t? But I don’t dare to launch a program, nor to indicate priorities for a plebiscite, nor to invite a chorus of supporters to join my proposal.
I am absolutely certain that it is necessary to release all political prisoners, but I would dare to suggest that a demand of this nature would get lost in a competition with one to take bread off the ration or reduce the price of eggs. I would give years of my life for the establishment of free expression but I understand those who want freedom of travel are more numerous.
I am not becoming bureaucratic nor do I believe that conventionality must stop the spontaneous initiatives of citizens, but we must not waste opportunities. When we call on the government for something, whether it be the price of bus fares or the complete waiver of them, first let us consult, listen to everyone, then draw it up together, and then we will have the right to say: “We want this, that or the other.”