Cuba: Renew Hope in the Face of Adversity

Cuba: Renew Hope in the Face of Adversity
Fecha de publicación: 
4 September 2022
Imagen principal: 

Summer its almost over -and not so high temperatures-, when the restart of school activities is imminent on the first Monday of September. In educational centers and in homes, the theme is already repeated. It's time to go back to class.

This wasn’t ultimately the summer with everyone that was foreseen and to attest to this, the hard preceding months remain engraved in the skin and mind, when the accumulation of adversities put Cuba at its maximum capacity to resist and reinvent itself and fasten its belt, even more, with one or two extra notches.

To the severe blockade -with Trump's 243 measures, assumed as his own by Biden-, the lack of fuel, the effects of inflation, food shortages, depressed transportation, the water deficit and the prolonged and sustained crisis of the National Electroenergetic System (SEN) were added, which brought with it the always unwanted blackouts, more recurrent and longer. The corona virus has continued to be present, although in more than 14 weeks only one death has been reported; however, dengue has taken hold again.

With such pile of vicissitudes, already enough to make any Administration's hair stand on end, we Cubans began to live from Friday, August 5th, the minute-by-minute events of the accident due to an electrical discharge at the Supertanker Base of the Matanzas Industrial Zone. The flames spread and gray smoke engulfed the province and continued west along the entire north western coastline.

The base had a total of 8 fuel tanks and half were reduced to ashes. The usual heroes were there since the day before: armed forces, firemen, the red cross, the ICU ambulances, the tank trucks and the medical personnel enlisted in the hospitals.

An unprecedented event in our country. The Island continued its personal battle, but international help was immediately requested: Mexico and Venezuela responded right away and in less than 24 hours their troops were at the site of the incident.

Both Latin American nations are oil exploiters and have related facilities and have experienced similar accidents. They brought their supportive presence plus expertise, equipment, means, chemicals, hoses, procedures, and included two boats, one of them with its own helicopter.

Donations for the affected population were received from many other nations (still arriving). The U.S. offered advice - which was accepted - and then published a statement informing that Washington "Watches" and is "attentive" to the development of events. So fire was still on and they are just “observers” there. They lost the chance at least once, in such complicated circumstances, to behave as caring neighbors.

The united masses, with the local aviation constantly bombing water, never gave up the order to stop the advance of the fire. The population in risk zone was relocated, and the injured treated in health facilities in the province and the neighboring capital.

Already on Thursday 11th it was announced that the fire was controlled and about to be quenched.

It would give way later to the rescue of the remains of those disappeared. There were 16 dead and about 150 injured. After the funeral honors and the well-deserved mourning for the fallen, the rehabilitation of the damaged area immediately began.

#FUERZAMATANZAS was a label that was immediately placed on social networks. But in reality it was not just a province in trouble but an entire country ready for anything.

Anxious days were lived. The pain persists and will persist due to the human lives lost and the expenditure on considerable resources for everything devoured by the flames.

In these times of crossfire, the nation didn’t stop, it was not pushed back and, as in other battles in the face of exceptional situations, they looked for solutions and thinking about the present and the future.

During these summer days there were those who went to the beaches, the movies, theaters, camping, playgrounds, the Art Fair in La Rampa, enjoyed day trips, excursions and even lodging in hotels in Varadero and the keys.

The foreign exchange market was also set in motion. With this decision national citizens can buy foreign currency from the State, the aim is to grant a greater purchasing capability to the Cuban peso.

Also in a recent Round Table, the bank authorities said that as part of the gradual recovery strategy of the National Electric Power System, it’s expected, although the complex situation continues, that before yearend around a thousand megawatts will be available. This concept was ratified on Saturday night by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, who hours before toured the Mariel and Santa Cruz del Norte thermoelectric plants.

Between good and not so good pieces of news, it was also outstanding in mid-August that the first case of monkeypox was detected in Cuba, an Italian tourist who later died. The people with whom he kept contact are isolated and asymptomatic. We are prepared, the MINSAP has affirmed, to combat this evil with actions aimed at preventing and facing the risk of its extent.

We don’t live in a glass bubble, much less our daily struggle is a paradise, but despite the regrets and the unfair media war and social networks with their fake news everywhere, the island moves in the direction of preserving its social system and its achievements, such as having a new and advanced Family Code, which will be submitted to a popular referendum on September 25th.

We must breathe and seek, and renew our hopes, because in the face of such buildup of adversities there’s only one dilemma for Cuban revolutionaries: ALWAYS STAND UP!

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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