The Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría - who played the gay character named Diego in the movie Strawberry and Chocolate - told El Pais newspaper that Cuban leaders are pressing to make the socialist system more efficient.
What's going on is "an evolution within the system itself," he said, according to a post in Cuban Colada.
"Evolution is preferable to a rupture, and it is best that whatever happens in Cuba come from the government itself," the actor said. "The consequences of a rupture would be worse than a very slow change."
The full interview can be found here in Spanish.
While I was at the Dallas Morning News, we did a special section entitled "Cuba in Evolution." It was a controversial section. The folks at MinRex did not like it. The U.S. Interests Section asked for something like 50 or 100 extra copies.
Geez, I can't believe it's been 10 years ago. Here's the top of one of the Cuba in Evolution stories I wrote with Alfredo Corchado and Laurence Iliff (I can't find any links to the full special section. I found one story on the web site of a professor who has had his students analyze the story, here):
Mass Awakening: Citizens reclaim religion, begin to whisper democracy
The Dallas Morning News
CUBA IN EVOLUTION
COJIMAR, Cuba - A few blocks from La Terraza, one of Ernest Hemingway's sacred old watering holes, a little seaside park sat neglected for years. Joaquin Hernandez and a few friends decided to clean it up one day, clearing away the weeds and dragging jagged rocks from the water so kids could swim.
"Our neighbors were shocked. They thought we must have been drunk or something," said Mr. Hernandez, a government-employed engineer. "They said, "Let the government fix that.' We said, "Why wait?' "
Like Mr. Hernandez, people all over Cuba are beginning to take charge of their lives. For almost four decades, they've relied on the socialist government for virtually every need, from jobs and food to schooling and cradle-to-grave health care. But their cash-strapped
government can't do it all anymore, everyone agrees, so people are taking matters into their own hands, slowly empowering themselves.
No one is sure where these rumblings of civic activism will lead. They could eventually turn the land of Fidel Castro into a Western-style democracy. They could trigger a clash between reformers and pro-Castro forces. Or, Castro loyalists hope, they could bolster the
socialist revolution that began in 1959.
"We need a strong civil society," said Ariel Ricardo, an official with the Foreign Relations Ministry. "It doesn't have to be an enemy."