Remember the cow named White Udder? I look back now on those headlines where her milk-producing exploits were reported. I forget the number of daily liters, 100, 150, but that’s not important now, what I can’t get out of my mind is that illusion that we would multiply the production of that Holstein cow through a fantastic number of daughters. In the end, rivers of milk overflowed our innocent imagination.

We’d already gone through similar things with that Ten Million Ton Harvest in 1970, with the Havana Cordon, and then the Food Plan and the dams that would never permit drought and the windbreaks that would immunize our agriculture from the effects of cyclones and the microjet bananas, not forgetting the schools in the countryside from which the New Man would emerge, the world’s largest zoo, the medical powerhouse, the Alamar neighborhood cloned over the whole island and the first of all of the promises which was “bread and freedom.”

Admittedly there is less fanfare now, so little hidden by the secrecy, but there are new illusions and perhaps the most recent is the mythic oil sleeping in our zone of the Gulf of Mexico. I understand that the firm REPSOL is in charge of the drilling. The same firm now litigating a nationalization dispute with Argentina. But it seems that extracting fossil fuel from the seabed will not be as easy as milking a cow; I heard there is a hard-to-penetrate rocky mantle and that the Spaniards are worried about Cuban solidarity with the Argentine nationalizers.

23 April 2012