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    The Cuban Experience Could Help the United States

    By Manuel E. Yepe

    It is a paradox, but the considerable survival experience Cubans have gained from the blockade imposed on them by the US government for more than half a century with the worst genocidal intentions, could help Americans deal with the total economic collapse forecast for the superpower.

    Increasing anxiety has been preying on U.S. citizens since the 2008 crisis. The phenomenon has not been widely reflected in the mainstream media, but alternative independent media have discussed it with strength.

    It has even reached Hollywood with the film Hunger Games, a horrifying echo of the fear that extends along the vast geography of the US empire as hints of the predicted debacle become a reality.

    Designed for young audiences, this super production presents what could happen in the country after decades of lost wars abroad and internal crises. Extreme poverty makes Americans rebel against the central powers which cruelly repress them. The totalitarian power which emerges from this “victory” is strongly supported by the media which develops new and unimaginable technologies to manipulate the citizens. As a lesson, it orders each of the 12 districts that make up the nation to chose each year a couple of teenagers between 12 and 18 who must fight each other until all contenders die but one who as the winner will survive. This bloody and diabolical lesson terrifies the citizens who are compelled to watch the battle until its macabre end.

    The success of this film has been such that a sequel is already been made of what is believed to become a saga rivaling Harry Potter’s popularity.

    The readings are many. Some think the producers are criticizing the totalitarianism of the American powers that be and the role of the media as the second power. Alternative media are already using Hunger Games as a symbol of the decadence at the gates of the present.

    From another perspective it is seen as a warning to present day young people not to rebel against the powers that be, because the outcomes would be those described in the film. There are already many video-games in the US urging young people to annihilate others in the most horrible ways.

    Today on the World Wide Web there are abundant examples of the fear the US population feels of the total collapse which might come. Some of these come with proposals and ideas about how to be prepared for the dreadful phenomenon that would shake the world, not only the US.

    Constant and diverse are the recommendations for communities to get organized so they can deal with the impact of the collapse predicted by the experts. Among the proposed formulas are, for example, those calling Americans to form tribes that would allow them to face the disaster through voluntary cooperation among neighbours; identify and explore alternative water sources; form local cooperatives for food sharing; design barter and exchange systems with the eventual inclusion of a local currency for such operations; put in place local alternative energy systems; organize communal night vigilance bodies; study the organization of communication within the community and with other tribes; create a communal food bank; and organize a local system of medical aid that would support a healthy community.

    After the overthrow of Batista’s dictatorship in 1959 and until the present, the Cuban people have had to face deprivations generated by the hostility of the US towards the Revolution; deprivations which have a lot in common with those now threatening the country to the north. These have forced Cubans to develop communal and socialist initiatives that today are part of their solid and stable political system always in a process of renovation and correction.

    The ruthless war with which the US government has punished the disobedience of the Cubans in a hemisphere that was –but no longer is- the US' backyard, provided the island with a lot of experience in affairs related to the struggle for survival. This would perhaps be of use today for their threatened brothers to the North so they can withstand the impact of the economic collapse; a tragedy caused by the same 1% of the US nation that has never wanted to accept Cuba’s real independence.

    December 2012.

    * A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippman.

    * Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana. He was Cuba's ambassador to Romania, general director of the Prensa Latina agency; vice president of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television; founder and national director of the Technological Information System (TIPS) of the United Nations Program for Development in Cuba, and secretary of the Cuban Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples.

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