Multiple jobs and one salary

parque_diversiones-copyYou spend your life wishing for the dessert you see through the glass and when they invite you in to offer you the slice you want, it turns out you’ve lost your appetite.  Permission to hold more than one job has ceased to be a popular demand among us for many years, because it was assumed to be impossible.  Its authorization has come at a time in which it is difficult to determine if it’s a step forward or a gesture of desperation.

Throughout the text of the Official Notice published in the newspaper Granma, I was pleasantly surprised to see that students at the middle and senior level are permitted to look for work while still qualifying as students.  Five years in which you couldn’t work and earn a salary has led many to forgo entering the university because they don’t have a family that can afford clothes, food and transport during their student years.  I know well what I’m talking about because while studying Philology—and being a mother—I had to work illegally as a city guide to support myself.  Only then could I obtain the title I keep in the bottom drawer of the dresser.  I know of many who until yesterday had to do the same, driven by economic reasons to skirt the laws or drop out.

The acceptance of moonlighting, however, has come late—even though it’s welcome—and has as its main obstacle the low level of wages.  To have two occupations will not mean that we live doubly well, nor even a quarter part more comfortably.  What the baker receives for working at night as a guard will not be enough to save his family from the black market, the diversion of resources or from emigration.  The question isn’t the authorization to get a job in various labor centers, but what products  can we buy with the devalued national money.  The days would have to have some thirty hours, because only then would moonlighting provide us the necessities of life.


26 thoughts on “Multiple jobs and one salary

  1. Candido asked what about those who lost their job for some ridiculous reason… it is true…there are some cases like that… unfortunately…but people…do not blame Raul Castro and Fidel… they did not fire these people… These situations again happen due to the situation with the US… you have to understand that the US has tried everything under the sun to undermine the Revolution and unfortunately you could some officials are paranoid sometimes…and innocent people lose jobs … again… you must understand and look at this in its context… The situation is one of SIEGE… its a war !!! If only the US would back off with the embargo and some form of a relationship was possible between the two … only then could things begin to improve… but Cuba with the Castro brothers have shown there is a different way- the US wont take the emabargo away for fear the Cuban system can be successfull… !!!! If only the US would let Cuba try do it it’s way .. but highly unlikely…!!! IMPOSSIBLE in fact !!!

  2. … by the way… those in cuba who do not work and chat at 10am in the corner…are the lazy bunch who get money from their american relatives and/or do the illegal thing like playing the lottery (their own made up in the community)amongst other illegal actions… !!!

  3. now… i am wondering, does anyone here, at all, actually see the positives of the revolution ? do i have to be anti-castro to write here? are my comments going to posted at all????
    first of all, even though the revolution may have and/or is failing economically this is not without the help of the US and the revolution has achieved many things for which cubans including Yoani who received a free education should be very thankful for … cubans also get free medical care and any time they get into hospital you dont see anyone asking “what insurance are you with…please provide details below “… so many schools and hospitals have been built there for the poor people who had NOTHING… you here seem to forget about that when you post your criticisms of free speech…. and human rights violations… what about the violation of the US against Cuba…or i should really say VIOLATIONS of the US not just with Cuba but with the whole of latin america…and the WORLD? you seem to forget the babies who were thrown into air and shot at as target practice by men sponsored and thought by the US… DO NOT forget Cuba is under SIEGE since 1959… how the heck do any of you want the government to relax when the US is breathing down cuba’s neck 24/7 for the last 50 years? all of your troubles lie with the anti- castro Cuban dissidents who comfortably live in Miami People… –Brothers to the Rescue– ??? ha?? more like –Brothers i will drown you and your little island since my property was taken away to feed the poor– !!!!
    And just before you even say that i am a communist person in cuba … WRONG… nor am i being paid by anyone to write this..unlike some of you here im sure… i am a student in Europe who pays for her expensive freacking education … you people should read some of these academics…it will do your ignorance a world of good… 1-Luis A. Perez Jr “Cuba between Reform and Revolution” , 2 – Noam Chomsky (all of his books) but you can absolutely start with “Turning the Tide: US intervention in Central America and the struggle for Peace”, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett ” The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better” ALSO Lars Scholtz “that infernal little republic of cuba” AND Piero Gleijeses
    “conflicting mission: havana washington and africa
    I’m not saying one should not criticize the government , of course ONE SHOULD but to improve it not destroy the goodness it has created for so many people for so many years…with so much effort and struggle despite and regardless the US !!!
    The US has killed trillions of innocent people… breast feeding babies for god’s sake… it keeps doing that today… why dont you give out about that???
    you are giving out instead about a government that provides you with food for cents and free health care to you and your family…a roof over your head…
    Yoani, you obviously live very well since i saw a photo of you with a laptop…you are not going hungry anyway and you are free not in jail and you are writing to your friends – so you are not exactly restrained from free speech… how bad the Cuban government treats you … perhaps if you were in Nicaragua, El Salvador , Honduras , Paraguay along with those tortured .. would you be singing the same tune???
    You are getting a lot of promotion .. i know exactly why… How pitiful and miserable are those who media-ate for US intersts…
    How the internet impacted Cuban society some asked… the same as it did any other society…many have access to internet in Cuba actually… i was there and keep in contact with friends through internet and mobile phones too by the way…
    Repressed are all Cubans by the US… you have an issue with that take it up with the Rulers of the World not with Raul or Fidel Castro… !!!
    I am absolutely convinced… once the US gets off Cuba’s back… the situation will be very different… since the war with the US has never eneded… economic disarray will prevail in Cuba unfortunately… Yes the Cuban government made mistakes, they have admitted that…they are also very slow in implementing solutions… that is a fault in the institutions and infrostructure alltogether.. but the US has affected the whole economy even more… DO NOT FORGET THAT…
    the enemey of Cuba are Cubans in the US…unfortunately…until them bitter people stop thinking money… people in Cuba will continue in hardship… you should be helping the Cuban people not go against them… shame on you ! I wish you would all stop bein ignorant .. stop listening to the media -they are not truthfull – they do not inform what you should really know… go get informed yourself…do the research… stop giving out and do something to make this world a better place !!!!

  4. Question….Without getting into too many specifics beyond what is safe to explain…I am wondering, how does Yoani get this blog out? Is it allowed by the Cuban government? I had heard things about repression from the Cuban government with regard to the internet so that’s why I’m wondering. Another related question…how has the internet impacted Cuban society? Thanks!

  5. Julio, I think that whenever there are extreme hierarchies, there will be atrocities and injustices. The people at the top will devalue the people on the low side of the power equation and those people on the low side will have little ability to participate in actively shaping their society or even their own lives on an ongoing basis. I do understand how the government can, itself, function as the exploiter of people’s labor, like a giant corporation. That is an important issue. But it isn’t enough to say to a Chinese laborer in a sweat shop that at least his wage is higher than a Cuban laborer’s. In that case, at least a Cuban laborer’s is higher than a factory worker in Bangladesh, and at least the average lifespan is much higher than for someone in Bangladesh (or China). If the point is to do away with exploitation and the crushing of freedom, it is crucial to stand against it in all forms. You speak of how people idealize Che but isn’t there also an idealization of life in the U.S. and what the U.S. is, among those who are down on Castro and Che? That is what I mean by an either/or mentality.

  6. Tara
    hope you do not believe for a second that Cuba is a workers paradise
    probably you are right about china but at least their average
    salary is much much better than cuba’s.
    The Cuban governent could be thought as a mega corporation with
    a very politically inclined CEO as long as you support him
    he will go easy on you if you start comaining too much about anything
    you could end up in prison or exiled if you get lucky.
    Castros propaganda machine is very powerful just think how many
    do idealize the romantic Che? Does any one really know all the
    bad things he did?

  7. It seems like there is so much either/or thinking in many comments here. Cubans aren’t paid enough, there isn’t enough productivity among those who work, and there is repression of free speech in the job area of life, also, because you can lose your one job if you are speak openly of the problems in Cuba or don’t have the same ideology as the government. Okay….so…the answer is for Cuba to become more like China?? No free speech AND sweat shops, poor safety regulations, poor wages. environmental degradation. Won’t it be wonderful when Cubans can work seven days a week for twelve or more hours a day in some factory making more meaningless junk for more affluent people to play with for a while and send off to the landfills….yes, those will be wonderful days…. Why aren’t more people drawing the obvious conclusions, applicable throughout the world, that people need guaranteed liveable wages, more worker owned businesses (rather than owned by mass corporations), meaningful jobs…all the things that make work productive and worthwhile for people and for a society?

  8. To Iain and friendly English Tranlator and fearful Cuban government officials:
    Thankyou so very much for answering my questions at #16!! I have a great many rather negetive comments to say about the Castro Brothers failed form of government,
    but I’ll reserve them for another time.
    To Fidel and Reuel and fearful government officials I would ask: What are you so afraid of? Why don’t you follow the example of the Chinese? Look at their progress and their riches and the increase of happiness for ordinary people and government
    officials alike?? Give your people some freedom so they can be proud to be Cuban!!

  9. Bruce – WELCOME! Here are some answers to your questions.

    The comments are posted in whatever language they are written in.
    Yes, Cuban government officials read Yoani’s blog. At least we know Fidel does since he’s complained about Yoani in writing.
    I send Yoani the English comments periodically in email, as her blog is blocked in Cuba.
    Read the other comments and you will see that they are primarily negative comments about the Cuban government. As for what happens as a result… we are all watching to see.

    Your friendly English Translator

  10. Chuckle. Can you think of any “negative things” concerning this paragon of a people’s democracy? If so, give it a go – you MIGHT survive :-))

  11. Hi!! I am new on this site and I only speak English. I want to see if this message will be posted in English or automatically posted in Spanish. Do government officials moniter this site?? If so, how closely do they watch it?? Does Yoani read these comments or is she too busy with other things?? What would happen if I said negetive things about your government here??

  12. I do’nt think i would call this capitalism.I’d simply call a disaster;the government failing to deliver and provide.Whether it be embezzelement,or lack of understanding when it come’s to building a proper infracstructure,government are always to blame for such case’s;simply because,they are responcible for these department’s,and have no one else to blame.

  13. With all respect to every one:

    Who that hell is that 291RCR?

    1-Does he knows, the unemployment numbers in Cuba?

    It could be easily 80 % of the population, because, “go to work” does not mean that you are working!!!!,,,there are people going to work, but their productivity is close to “0”!!!!!,,is part of the double moral, of every Cuban!!!!

    2-Does he knows, that the only “good thing” -if I can says it- in Cuba, is that people survive without working?.

    Anyway, the only hope for each Cuban is just get a piece of bread and may be,,,may be,,,with one small slice of “air”!!! and it will be enough for today!!!!

    3-Does he knows that you can see at 10 AM (in the morning) in every corner of each Cuban town a lot of Cubans just talking, because they don’t work?.

    They don’t work, because anyway, it will be same thing that they had yesterday or 50 years back!!!!! and who knows which will be the future!!!!

    4-Does he knows, that in Cuba anybody can work 24 hours per day during 365 days per year, and still will not be enough?

    Because, the main thing, which is “HOPE”, is not for sale, nobody can take it, just because the Government has the key and nobody,,,nobody will be able to open the “freedom lock” even working as a slave?.

    Then , just because the way that he express his comment I will assume that he does not know anything about Cuba,,,he is a theoretically enlightened reader of Castro’s ideas with which he is very confused!!!!!

    We the Cubans would love to have at least 1 % of the freedom that exist in this country, because even himself can enjoy the unemployment benefits, but Cuba?,,,Cuba does not has even that kind of benefits!!!!,,just a lot of hunger, misery and poverty!!!!

    If you want to try, just buy a ticket, fly to Cuba, spend 3 years there (as a simple Cuban),,,,then, let me know later!!!!!!!so far, since now I know which will be your answer!!!!


  14. English Translator:

    Thanks for your note, I saw that the person posting the message using the Italian language was trying to do something “weird” (just to use a polite word)!!! that sometimes rebounds in Cubans’ minds with very bad remembrances!!!!


    Thanks, now I understood !!!!.

    When I saw the “banner” word, I just thought about a “pancarta”!!!, immediately it rang as, some kind of mass mobilization!!!!,jajajaja, that came to my mind as an old reflex of those horribles days,,,,just bad memories that still, after so many years are able to remind us that we were slaves of that cruel system and his assassin leader!!!!!

    Thanks for both of you.


  15. My heartfelt apologies for the misunderstanding. Yes, my comment was about posting Yoani’s work on an Italian site… I should have been more clear about which numbered comment it referred to.

  16. Pingback: Multiple jobs and one salary | Cuba News

  17. 291RCR
    Even in today’s America a person can show his caracter,put his knees on the soil and thrive to sucsess.Cuba is in chains,no parallels in these reallities.

  18. 291RCR

    The Cuban government is no less capitalist I will say is even more capitalist since they pay such miserables salaries.
    A few month back Raul had to bring back teachers from retirement
    do you know why?

    BAD Planning

    whatever happen to all the 5 year plans etc :-)

    If you believe that a person in Cuba can really live with what the government pays them for retirement you are totally mistaken. You should go over there and see for yourself.

  19. English translator:

    I’m a little bit confuse with your comment # 4, and, if that comment was done with regard of my comment # 3, I just want to clarify it:

    “Under any circumstance I was pretending critize Yoani’s subject, I said from the very beggining that it was a VERY SERIOUS issue brought out by her, with her special seal of sarcasm which reflects her hard conviction against Castro’ regime.

    I’m 10000% agree with the way and the via that she (Yoanis) is using to denounce the cruel system that has been impost during the last 50 years in Cuba.

    In my comment I was emphasizing the double face and moral that the Cuban’s Government has been manipulating during all those years and I wanted to use a good example, which is “all those peoples without a single job, because they were expelled from them only after clearly demonstrating its dispute against the regime, using simples ways as write an E-Mail, speak by phone, etc, etc,”.

    I think that may be your comment was the result of a misunderstanding of my comment, that’s why I’m making this explanation.

    Have a nice “Fourth of July”!!!!!!!!!!



  20. Welcome to Capitalism. To serve in today’s world most people in America have both husband and wife working full time jobs and then part time work when available. Think of seniors who retire on a small pension only to have to work part time at Walmart to feed and cloth themselves. Unlike Cuba were the state provides a small pension here we are left to fend for ourselves, where one in five children go to bed hungry because they live in poverty. That speaks volumes for Capitalism. Yoani did you have time to check any US papers head lines today unemployment topped all time record of 9.5 %. Guess what these people have to fall back on? Your right nothing thanks to Capitalism.

  21. What else can we spect?.Even the unbeliveable.What else can they do to stay in power?.Every thing needed from their prospective,no brakes in basics morals no remorse,just a gang for the power!.

  22. Yes, you may put a banner or link on your site to Yoani’s blog and you may re-post her entries on your site, as long as it is clear that she is the author.

  23. Just because I know that this subject is so serious, I would say that it is a “Comedy”!!! something very funny!!!!

    Now, by the Government decision, it allow the people to get “multiple jobs”!!!!,,but, what about of those which have been expelled from their “only” job they had, just because, for example:

    1-Were caught writing E-Mails from their job to their parents in USA!!!!!

    2-Were caught saying that will be something good to do this or that, to change the current situation!!!!.

    3-Were identified as “not Revolutionaries”!!!!!

    4-Those that don’t want to be members of the CDR, or the Communist Party, or the Communist Youth,,,then, openly did express their negative opinion about those organizations!!!

    The list will be very long, but there is just one question:

    All those, already expelled from their jobs, now, are considered as third class citizen in Cuba, and they don’t have even the option for “JUST ONE JOB”!!!!!, because in Cuba, the only employer is the Government, the Castro’s regime has the rights to employ or not whenever and whatever he wants!!!!

    What about them?!!!!!!!!


  24. SALVE,





  25. The key here is on

    “Its authorization has come at a time in which it is difficult to determine if it’s a step forward or a gesture of desperation”

    The Cuban government as manifested on speeches by Raul Castro is finding now that because of past policies like facilitating and making abortions access too easy and many many others policies now are confronting the consequences all all the really bad decisions they have taken in the past!

    They can’t blame anyone else but themselves for it!

    So now just the same as they had to legalized the dollar before they had to also allow for people to work multiple jobs. Obviously this is not really a benefit to any of this people working multiples jobs since it means they will get exploited by their government even more!

    Countries like the US solve the problem easily because it seems many people do want to come here and work and live the american dream but who is willing to live the Cuban nightmare?

    Any body wants to volunteer? :-)

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