Cuban permaculturist Roberto Perez tells how his country adapted to economic and ecologic necessity thanks to the big US embargo aimed at starving the revolution out:
To outsiders, the Cuban system is frequently presented in the media as a failure; its successes (not to mention its fifty-plus years of sheer survival, which is its biggest success!) don’t rate a mention. Just look at all the recent hoopla over cellphones and DVD players; only capitalistic “successes” make the news, and the fact that they don’t remedy more pressing human needs is conveniently swept under the rug. Too bad that capitalism itself is still busy denying the obvious: that its own “grow or die” model has been an unmitigated disaster, responsible for everything from a rise in poverty and diseases, to global warming itself. In light of that, the Cuban model doesn’t look so dumb.
Perez also tackles the ethanol issue. Many Latin American leaders have denounced the biofuel industry for using food as an energy source, and making basic staples expensive and unavailable to the hungry. Why not eat corn instead of feeding it to livestock or burning it?
Did you know that Cuba is a world leader in organic and sustainable farming? It’s true. What began in a time of dire necessity is now a way of life for Cuban farmers. It’s the secret to Cuba’s revolutionary survival; this is how they fed themselves when no one else was willing to trade with them. This is how they gave the finger to those who tried to starve them out.
Something tells me that THIS revolution, the green one, will outlive the Castro brothers and whatever else becomes of the Cuban government. Something also tells me that this is the real “Cuban model” which will be exported to other countries. Venezuela is already on board, using Cuban organic techniques for urban and communal farming.