Cuban President on the Rise

By Angel Guerra Cabrera (I) on July 4, 2019

The new president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, has turned out to be a revelation in the maximum responsibility of the State. It is not that his good performance in previous positions was not known. As the president of the government and the complex and difficult circumstance in which he is having to operate in, he has quickly risen to an outstanding level as a revolutionary leader and statesman. A true challenge in which the greatest reference is none other than Fidel Castro and continues under Army General Raúl Castro as the head of the revolution.

With Donald Trump in the U.S. presidency, Diaz-Canel’s inaugural juncture has been one of the escalating tightening of the siege and intensification of the U.S. economic and media war against Cuba and its close ally Venezuela and all of this in a context of uncertainty and great international political tensions. Each day that passes his execution has awakened greater admiration, consensus and adhesion on the island.  My point is that this condition of the island’s president is more significant and contrasting when one looks at the right-wing heads of state in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In our region there is currently no single conservative president who stands out with even one of the qualities that distinguish true statesmen. Our current conservative heads of state lack political experience, knowledge of political and social sciences, art and literature; they do not possess personal charisma, or political acuteness, or the capacity to foresee future events. It would be too much to ask them to worry about the environment, because they drive its degradation and the popularity of all of them is in free fall, which expresses the deep crisis of the neoliberal model but also the rejection of the people to their repugnant conduct.

Their governmental conduct, like that of many of the neoliberal rulers in the world, is almost entirely dedicated to using power to consummate big and illicit business for personal gain, to repress popular movements and activists and, of course, to spare no effort to fit into the plans of the northern empire to reinforce its domination of the region.

On the other hand, it should be stressed that in the Caribbean states, especially in English-speaking countries, we can find prime ministers and civil servants who are educated and, as a rule, dedicated to the service of their peoples. There are also, with a few exceptions,protective of their sovereignty like AMLO’s  Mexico, which is demonstrated by the simple fact that Mexico recognizes Nicolás Maduro as the only legitimate and constitutional president of Venezuela. As the Latin American country bordering the United States, they reject violence as a means of settling the political dispute in Venezuela and advocate, along with Uruguay, for political dialogue as the only solution to their problems, which brings them together in the Montevideo mechanism. It is no small thing to highlight the excellent relations that unite the Caribbean states with revolutionary Cuba.

Díaz-Canel was elected almost unanimously on April 19, 2018 by the National Assembly of People’s Power to his current position as President of the Councils of State and Ministers. It was followed by an extraordinary welcoming by the Cuban people; wherever he goes he is received by enthusiastic demonstrations of popular jubilation. Many affirm that his style of spending time with workers, students, peasants and men and women of the towns reminds them of Fidel. I have seen how young people have chemistry with him. Cubans saw him arrive first on the scene in Regla and other areas of Havana after they were crushed by a strange tornado on January 28 of this year. In the early hours of the day he gathered the government to evaluate the damages and immediately recovery and reconstruction began. Subsequently, he has systematically supervised the progress of this task, in which much progress has been made and no one, as he promised, has been left unprotected.

Since October 2018, the president has visited all 15 provinces and the special Isle of Youth municipality at least once, often accompanied by the entire cabinet of ministers to oversee plans for economic and social development. Time and again we see lively interaction with those working in agricultural areas, production facilities services, and educational, cultural and scientific centers. In today’s Cuba, significant importance is given to the market, but economic planning is also rigorously practiced. Given the tightening of the blockade as Cuba moves forward Diaz Canel has called for people to be more flexible but what is not accepted is that the action of the market leaves anyone helpless.

Source: La Jornada, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau