I have this real fear that should Barack Obama win the American election, the whole situation in Cuba could come crashing down. Essentially I am saying that the blockade of Cuba, has been one of the key factors in preserving the country from the ravages of capitalist exploitation.
I know that this doesnt make sense in terms of my feelings about the blockade generally, basically I oppose it, I think its an act of war on America’s part.
But what it has done is stabilise and bolster a number of things in Cuba, one of them being a growing environmentalist way of life, including widespread organic gardening and etc.
Should Obama win (of which more in a later post) I think he will possibly make moves to remove the blockade. If that happens, there is likely to be an economic explosion in Cuba, from increased tourism and export revenues, which could seriously threaten the eco system there.
Some people ask how Cuba became green, the answer is beguilingly simple.
Following the collapse of the old Soviet bloc at the end of the eighties, Cuba’s economy was thrown into crisis. Their markets and cash evaporated as one time communist allies became capitalists. Everything went, including supplies of agricultural chemicals.
Most people assumed that Cuba too would cave in, the Americans certainly did, tightening their blockade in the hope of squeezing them a bit more.
But instead something remarkable took place, and Cuba, instead of collapsing, underwent a different sort of transformation.
Responding to the lack of agri chemicals and shortage of imports, they began to grow food organically, and implemented one of the most progressive organic agriculture policies the world has ever seen.
The whole nation worked together to adopt a more sustainable way of life, now urban gardening, renewable energy, and permaculture practises are widespread. International support has boosted Cuba’s ability to survive and even thrive despite the blockade.
Could all that be about to change? I really hope not. As much as I despise the blockade, and all that it means, I recognise too that it has helped preserve Cuba from capitalism, and find alternative ways of living, which are the kinds of things the ‘developed’ western world, are now beginning to take seriously decades later.