In November 1979 (it’s been thirty years!), I published an article in the magazine “Cuba International” displayed across two pages, under the title, “Those who laughed at the blockade.” As a matter of mental hygiene I worked for some fourteen years, but I remember the central theme was the work of the innovators and rationalizers, those who with their ingenuity managed to overcome the difficulties caused by the commercial restrictions imposed on Cuba by the United States. Let me make it clear that I do not agree with the blockade.

It was the era in which we bet that “despite the blockade” we would manage to achieve all our goals. The essence of this tendency lay in the desire to show that when the decision was made the nationalize the property of Americans – the primary reason for the vindictive North American attitude – a good estimate of the consequence had been made and that the wisdom and political vision of the Maximum Leader were such that we had all the conditions to overcome the obstacles that would derive from this measure, whose justice was indisputable. I remember that I do not agree with the blockade.

I don’t have the data to allow me to support the following affirmation, but I am sure that everything that was nationalized must be left barely working, with the exception of the acres of land of the United Fruit Company which are not now inundated with the marabu weed. As we know, most of the sugar factories were renovated with soviet machinery in the seventies and eighties and then about half the plants were dismantled. Something similar happened with the soft-drink bottlers, the nickel mines, the factories and businesses that passed into the hands of the State in the first years of the revolucionary process. What didn’t disappear because it was impossible to maintain became something else by virtue of transformation. I reaffirm, I do not agree with the blockade.

I have the impression that in the political calculation made in those times we were too benevolent regarding the duration that the imperialist rancor might last, or maybe excessively optimistic about our chances of returning the blows that inevitably came our way. Who could have imagined that the socialist camp would collapse? You do know that I do not agree with the blockade?

At the United Nations they just voted overwhelmingly for a resolution condemning the blockade. The fundamental arguments are that it is the fault of this cruel policy that we cannot develop like we want to nor can we solve many urgent problems in the areas of health, education and science. Had we only known! If we could have foreseen that the consequences of these nationalizations of what now does not exist would be so serious and lasting, maybe we would not have been so radical. Let no one doubt that I do not agree with the blockade.