The origin of the other data

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Rubén Cortés.

Year 2000. Cuba suffers the most serious energy crisis. She is detained and without electricity. But in Caracas, Fidel Castro affirms with astonishing calm: “Cuba is rapidly increasing its oil production and will shortly be self-sufficient in oil and gas.”

And do what you want, huh. It is the origin of the “other data” of the president of Mexico, for whom the late Cuban leader is “a social and political fighter of great dimensions, who led his people to achieve authentic, true independence.”

Fidel Castro’s brilliant handling of “the other data” is in The consensual invasion (Editorial Debate, 2019), a book that details how Cuba turned Venezuela into its extractive colony, although it is eight times smaller and has three times fewer inhabitants.

While Fidel Castro said without shame that Cuba was about to produce all its energy, the island worked thanks to Venezuela, which sent him 115 thousand barrels of crude oil a day, much of which Cuba was reselling and obtained 765 million dollars a year.

Chávez took Venezuela into debt to finance plants, factories, laboratories and submarine cables for Cuba that spent all the money, but never worked. He bought even old sugar mills dismantled on the island decades ago.

It allowed him to build his own landing platform on the presidential ramp of the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas, where all the personnel are Cuban, from those who stamp passports to those who load and unload suitcases.

The Cuban government has access to the Venezuelan identification and migration office, notaries, the electrical system, the state oil company and the map of mineral reserves.

In contrast, Venezuela does not have the slightest influence within Cuba.

But on December 14, 2009, Fidel Castro asked Chávez to publicly read a letter, in which he emphasized that “I never asked for anything, your support for Cuba was spontaneous.” It grabbed everything, but in its “other data”, it did not ask for anything.

Fidel Castro was the first to condemn Chávez’s attempted coup against President Carlos Andrés Pérez, who had restored relations with Cuba, broken since 1961 by Cuban military support for the Venezuelan communist guerrillas.

“Dear Carlos Andrés, since this military pronouncement was known, we have been deeply concerned,” he wrote. But, with Chávez in power, he had other data: “I guessed who Chávez was since he was in prison.”

The author of The consensual invasion, Diego G. Maldonado, does not exist. It is a name that represents all the journalists persecuted by the Venezuelan dictatorship. It is anonymous to ensure the safety of whoever wrote it.

And it is a must read today.

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