A neighbor told me that the re-involution of ’59 had taken property from owners but had not found a substitute. The director of a business will never be the owner, never have the sense of ownership over what he administers. To illustrate that there are more than thousands or millions of examples, it would suffice to offer a country like this one, worn out, a culture where theft is not seen as a crime because to survive death should not be punishable.
A man who, outside the State work plan of his job as a carpenter, makes a curtain rod to sell it and so is able to guarantee the feeding of his child should not be condemned, although for that he has had to use tools of the State, and to take pieces of wood and laces that do not belong to him.
A culture where the concept of “social property” is so foreign and absurd that Marx and Engels would feel so horrified by the result that inspired their theories, that they would not hesitate a second in refuting their communist philosophy.
An example of this was when, some days past, a gas station was about to explode in Santiago de Cuba. The video of the events reveals in detail all the ineptitude of the authorities of the place, from their own workers of Cupet, who immediately washed their hands and distanced themselves from the events — that reminds me of “I am returning, Captain,” when abandoning the sinking ship — but the irony of this case was that, thanks to their cowardice, the “Captain” and the workers of the station saved their lives.
The irresponsibility of the firefighters can be seen in the video in spite of their arriving before the police. They parked the firetruck near the incident, and got out with the same hurry with which they might have arrived at the beach on a summery morning. They watched, distantly, the events as if they were not any of their concern. They did not run to spray foam, like one supposes they would do in this kind of fire, they established no perimeter security, they just limited themselves to being part of the watching public, like those children nobody wanted filling the tanks of their motorcycles using their helmets, and how the neighbors came with boxes to stock up on precious liquid, at the expense of paying with their poor lives as the price of such imprudence.
Of course the inevitable happened, what the least mentally capable person could have predicted from the beginning: The explosion! Everything began with the late arrival of the police authorities. They immediately inspired terror. Looking at it coldly: taking that gasoline from a puddle in the middle of the street was not a crime, it was even — if you will — beneficial, because it would be less liquid spilled. But, as if the rural guard had arrived to distribute machetes, those young men decided to keep their distance, and in a hurry they disappeared, still euphoric for having gotten some gains with no apparent sacrifice, they decided to kickstart their motorcycles, and then, with the first spark they detonated the bomb.
That whole group that appears in the video was caught in the fire trap. For the majority it was like the hug of death. The general reaction of the people of Cuba was unanimous and identical: first toward the inactivity of the workers and the Boss of Turno of the gas station at not turning off the electricity in order to so stop the flow of the combustible liquid; then, the uselessness of the firefighters at not assuming, exercising and implementing what is established for those cases; then for the late arrival of the agents of order in their rickety Lada patrol car, which made its entrance like an old cart that comes in search of dead gladiators in the Roman Coliseum. None of these appeared with the quickness required, by the political directors of the Government in order to prevent the fire that approached like the night.
It was such a big chain of ineffectiveness, worthy of being received by the Guinness Records (very similar to the tragedy that occurred in the Chernobyl nuclear plant); but the worst of all is how to understand how great is the misery in which our people subsist that it brought the victims to commit such foolishness. That made me think of all the inhabitants of the Cuban archipelago that have launched themselves at sea, aware of such as an act of suicide. We have assumed a culture of danger where “whatever God wants” is the determining phrase that decides our lives. For the majority of Cuban families, it is very normal to have suffered the loss of a loved one in the Florida Straits, there we have spilled millions of tears and prayers for our missing brothers. All the flowers of all the springs of the world will not manage to honor those who offered up their lives in the effort to cross the agonizing ninety miles of sea that separate us from the promised land in search of a liberty so long dreamed of by our people.
One of the lessons that the explosion in the Santiago de Cuba gas station leaves is that those people lost their lives for a few liters of gasoline, that is to say: five or six Cuban convertible pesos (CUC), that was the value that they gave them. Another lesson is that the ineptitude of the Cuban “Government” was absolute and at all levels. And, if it serves anything, almost with days of differences, to a greater or lesser degree, the explosion in the refinery of Apure in Venezuela, and the gas station of Santiago de Cuba, both events coincide, maybe in an apparent warning from God that with time, Venezuela will become the mirror of Cuba: an ineffective totalitarianism.
May God protect Venezuela because in Cuba many Cubans believe that He already forgot them long ago.
Translated by mlk.
October 28 2012