A new kind of savings


A store on Neptune Street closed yesterday so they wouldn’t have to turn on the air conditioner after exceeding the strict plan of kilowatts consumed. In a five-star hotel they tell the tourists they’re repairing the air conditioner but in reality they turn it off so the meter won’t run so fast. In both places the employees breathe the hot stuffy air while few customers venture into the large market to buy, or remain in the lobby of the luxurious accommodation.

Fans appear everywhere in a savings plan that is costing the country a figure the press doesn’t publish. The housewives avoid submerging themselves in the sticky atmosphere of the convertible peso stores; those wanting to make a deposit escape after half an hour inside the windowless bank; coffee shops see their sales decline; private money changers are having a heyday because the state currency exchange offices (CADECAS) close midday; and in the movie theaters one doesn’t know whether to scream at the monster who wants to devour the protagonist or at the unbearable heat.

Obviously these measures originated in some office air-conditioned by “up there”; they occurred to those who, at three in the afternoon, didn’t have to wait for a document in a place where more than twenty people were crowded together, sweating. I would like to throw out a proposal to the architects of this program, that they extend the cuts to certain untouchable sites where the thermometer still shows less than 25 degrees Celsius. It would be good, for example, to ask the members of the National Assembly, who are meeting on August 1st, to travel to their meeting on public transport so as not to waste fuel on their chartered bus. They should, keeping with the electrical restrictions we all live with, deliberate by the light of candles, drink warm soft drinks at the break, and limit their session to only a couple of hours, to avoid the costs of using the microphones and the TV transmitters. The unanimous approval and frantic applause which characterizes all their actions don’t require much meeting time, nor the enjoyment of relaxing air conditioning.



15 thoughts on “A new kind of savings

  1. I remember feeling chills watching the Berlin wall come down. I never thought that would happen in my lifetime. I pray the same will happen for Cuba one day. Everyone deserves to be free from the oppression of government. Right now, I’m worried about my own country embracing Socialism. I pray that it won’t. As Patrick Henry said during the American Revolution, “Why stand we here idle? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be puchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

  2. Many cubans suffering the hot, but doing or trying to do useful things, except Yoanis. She is only typing in her blog, inventing histories to keep glad to the masters and trying to paint the hell on earth. But unfortunately liying.

  3. In reading past posts, I see that Carbo and Andy are lurking out there somewhere.

    Reply to no. 3:

    Easy to refute somebody else’s discomfort when you’re enjoying 60-70 degree weather this summer, and 72 degree thermostatically controlled temperature at home and workplace in the winter.

    In any case, this is just one symptom of the inability of the regime to make anything work. Not having a steady power supply has a myriad of repercussions. It’s interesting that actually there’s plenty of water in Cuba. Cuba gets more than enough rain most years to supply all its water needs. There are many dams that were built both, before and after the current dynasty took power. The problem is that you need lots of electricity to have the pumping capacity, (and infrastructure) to distribute the water and maintain a balanced supply throughout the island year round.

    Not having plentiful electricity also means they can’t produce enough cement (a power intensive activity) to build much of anything, including infrastructure for housing, industry or even piping for water.

    Regarding the contraption, it appears like an electric shower version of the electric chair. With an on/off switch and all. Just missing the belts to hold the bather against the wall under the stream of water.

    Yoani, for your safety and that of your family, don’t use this devise. If you don’t believe me, just ask an electrical engineer about it’s safety.

    I’d be interesting to know how many people have already been electrocuted this way.

  4. At first there was alot of heat here,then it rained on Friday,then on Saturday it rained again,and it kept on going till the evening,but the rain fell so hard,that all the electric supply wire’s fell down,as usual,and we have been without electricity for over a day.Not only that,but the road’s & street’s have been turned into river’s & stream’s,it like an odd kind of Venice here.& people who lived in weaker house’s have suffered immensely.

  5. I avoid visiting Cuba, period!
    When I left, there was a reason for me to leave and after 50 long years the reason remains, so there you have it. I have no desire to see the prosperous country that I left, turn into a third world country.
    I hope I will live long enough to see our country free again and if that happens I will go back to visit and lend my hand to help rebuild our future in any way I can, if that does not happens in my life time I will die happy, remembering the Cuba I left 50 years ago and not this inferno called “socialism”

  6. Actually, Rokeboogie’s advice is sound. In hot climates, you should drink plenty of fluid but not ice-cold. It took me some time to realise this in Colombia, where tepid soup is very popular. I learned to wait until sundown before starting on the chilled ale. Of course, the production of soup requires groceries, a decent water supply, and energy – most of which are doubtful in Cuba.

  7. ***
    Look out Yoani! MININT designed this shower to kill you! Coming soon to your apartment. Don’t turn it on!
    Cuidadte Yoani! MININT designo esta riegadera para matarte! Viene pronto a su apartamento. No lo prendes!
    John Bibb

  8. Yoani, no offense, but our parents (at least, mine) survived with no air cooling devices. I see your point: Cuban authorities won’t give up pretty life, while making suffer the rest of population. Nevertheless, human being has turned into an animal that denies every way of suffering, even the little ones. As citizens of the USA does, drinking glasses of soda full of ice and running air conditioned at maximum only make them to go against nature. Here in Mexico, in the hot southern states (with a weather similar than that of Cuba), years ago people used to drink a hot drink to combat the hot weather. If you drink an iced one, the body’s thermostat will react making more heat. Greetings from Mexico!

  9. Sorry about the errata in my last comment: here is the ‘error-free’ version of it:
    “By the way: did no one notice how dangerous it is for people to place together water and electricity outlets?”

  10. I was more concerned by the lethal nature of the electrics in the photo. Here in the UK, anything like that would be prohibited! (Authoritarian or what?! :-)) There is an irony here. In democracies, the people are in a position to demand a safe environment – sometimes we feel our governments overdo it: the so-called “nanny state.” And in a capitalist economy, where the people have freedom of choice, equipment is constantly refined and improved. Wherever communism takes over, health, safety, and the environment become massive casualties.
    Of course, once Cuba was as green, fertile, and productive as Canada. It took socialism to bring it to its present plight.

  11. Yoani I think you should come up to Canada!!!!!!!!!! Nominaly at this time of year we are enjoying temperatures in the mid to high 70ies. However this year we are experiencing below normal temperatures into the mid 60ies so I though like you I would wine and belly howler to the world that life is not fare, rather than just enjoy life itself.(Strange when I look around everything is green and nature is abound with beauty ) Here in Canada we know enough to put on a sweater maybe you should open your door or window, come on there is to much suffering and war going on in the rest of the world to cry about the weather. My take on your weak blog.

  12. I went to visit Cuba (Pinar del Rio) on September in 1998 and when I was there I guess I was so used to the heat or maybe I did not know any better but when I visited it was so incredibly hot!
    I remember my uncle asked me if I wanted to put the electric heater for the water and I mentioned please don’t because the water is already coming out warm from the shower.
    Going to sleep was difficult too I actually bought two electric fans but the air they were blowing on me was already hot air. :-)
    So I was literally sweating on the bed! For me is harder because I am used to Maryland weather that is much much cooler than Miami.

    Its amazing all that wonderful solar energy that Cuba has was never put to good use. Probably one of the best solutions for energy saving and generation of energy will be to build big solar energy generation plants but they have not been build and the reason probably is because the Commander in chief have not come up with the idea yet!

    For one thing if they had solar power heaters people may not have to have those electric heaters or use them only when there is not sun and therefore will be saving lots of electrical energy.

    If they had also running water(but that is a separated problem) but as we all know they don’t have running water either.
    I remember my surprise here when I saw running water from the plumbing and not having to take a bath with a can and a water container!
    or having hot and warm water coming directly from the plumbing!
    Remember the used to tell us how bad was capitalism do they really believe those things? Why do they lie to innocent people in such a grotesque way?
    Why? is it to keep themselves in power for 50 years?

    Cubans have so many problems in their daily live that live becomes a total torture!

    No running water!
    Water in some places gets at specific times of the day if at all
    and in some places they sent a truck with water to distribute or people have to go to a place to get their water for cooking, to drink or to just take a bath!

    5o years of accumulating problems!
    none solve but more problems that the government is unable to solve because the government wants to be in the business of solving all the problems when in reality they should let people solve their own problems and not penalized them for coming up with original solutions!

  13. I have always avoided visiting Cuba from Junio until Noviembre.


    The heat and humidity.

    Now…with the new limitations imposed on consumption and AC use, it must feel like hell-on-earth there.

    But a truly warm welcome to the UK’s Royal Ballet for the performers as well as the audience.

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