Where there’s smoke…


Caridad could not find Sancti Spíritus on a map, the province where the company run by the Chilean, Max Marambio, is located, but she is aware of all the rumors about its closing and the corruption scandals. She has learned to decipher the omissions of the press and to read, in the repetition of certain topics, an attempt to cover up others more interesting.  So she is not content with the sugar-coated pill offered by the national news. For this 40-year-old Havana woman, the rumors on the street in the last weeks have caused her to dust off an old saying she stubbornly repeats: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Just the name of the Río Zaza factory reverberates in conversations, although the newspaper Granma only mentioned the investigation in a brief note about the death of its general manager, Roberto Baudrand.

In the journalism schools they should teach certain lessons. One of them – which we Cubans have learned forcefully reading between the lines – is that hiding a story intensifies the interest in it and leads people to fantasize and speculate about the details. While they call us to attend acts of Revolutionary reaffirmation and to condemn the media campaign against Cuba – from which they have not published a single document – everyone assumes there must be something big that they want to cover up with so much noise. The delay in confirming that something happened in this joint-venture company has made the foreign press, the independent journalists and the bloggers grab the topic from the hands of the controlled official reporters.  They are called on to sing of the glories, not to reveal the trash swept under the rug.

Caridad has been right about the wisps of smoke, which have become a roaring fire. Something quite fetid is hidden behind the silence and distraction. It smells like greenbacks, embezzlement, and has the stench of corruption, no longer localized in one place but rather endemic to the system. The army of accountants that will be unveiled in the coming days will not be able to stop the bleeding. They would need as many more to control the inspectors, to monitor the monitors, to supervise the supervisors. The cloud of smoke billowing from this fire is already huge, and we can all see it behind the slogans.

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120 thoughts on “Where there’s smoke…

  1. The only thing I see is the passion of the belivers, the beauty of the Cuban people & the beauty of the land … it makes my heart sing.
    After it I only see heavy editing (I am sure because of time & space) at the afforded tourist rounds & pleaseant & staged “walks on the grass”.
    Its not propaganda, if anything is proof of the fertility & need for Christ in Cuba.
    Its not ptropaganda until you mentioned & used it as such to prove “your” point of view.

    All it is is a record of a christian missionaries who visited Cuba.

    Twisting & spinning do not make your “truths” true, I think you have choosen the wrong material …

  2. DrCruel – you can’t handle the truth. For so long you have fed your mind on hatred and distorted facts churned daily in Miami by the “anti-Castro Industry”, that you cannot look at a video posted by some church faithful returning from a missions trip in Cuba, and think that it is a propaganda tool of sorts.
    You are DrSAD.

  3. Love the videos of a “Cuban paradise”. It’s like the bucolic color films the German socialists made when Comrade Hitler was in power, or the Potemkin village films in the days of Stalin.

    I must admit, Marxists do have a knack for advertisement. It’s too bad they can’t sell their ideas to the majority of the Cuban people, though – perhaps then these “conterrevolutionaries” would stop trying to escape their island paradise, which would of course save the Cuban government a lot of money on bullets.

  4. please address yourself to# 60 in the carmelita’s …
    Then answer the “little questions”

  5. ok & the point is?
    The two points of sucess most mentioned by the rebolution, laudable in its greatness … how about the rest …
    The embargo used as the permanent excuse is old, there are many nations “dealing” w/cuba, there are many nations “holding the bag” after “dealing’ w/Cuba.
    But what happened to the agrarian reforms, the redistribution of wealth, the industralization od Cuba, to the infraestructure, the transportation, the power grid the permanent “tightening of the belt”, the permanent struggle without results?
    What happened to the personal freedoms, the privacy of home, the other education of children at home by their parents not by the rebolution’s mandates.
    What happened to free speech devoid of reprisal or labels, what happened to free asembly, what happened to the right to dissent peacefuly … what happened to free enterprise, what happened to the hopes of yester years … they are molded into today’s realities …

  6. Julio, did you know that in Cuba, there are schools in the remotest areas for 3, 2, or just 1 student, with computers run by solar energy?

  7. Siggy (as sharp as ever)
    You reminded me how much this world of ours has evolved & changed …
    From just about every interest of man, from social contexts to ecological, human & moral at a global scale.
    I can see why at one point we (me) lived in an apparent vacuum, my actions & their reactions/consecuences was felt perhaps only by me … today: taht vacuum is almost gone, the world community is smaller in appearance but so large in contents.
    We made great progress in recognizing our failures of the past, we have corrected some & have not forgoten how much more there is to be done & having the will what needs to be done as a community of nations, w/tolerance & respect.
    But all starts with the free thinking & choosing will of the people.

  8. What is sure and certain proven is that communism or wild capitalism like today’s China or Cuba are not the best thing the world and humanity can have for the good of the planet and the people…… never as today Cuba has been so polluted and its natural wanders destroyed…. Same happen with the people of Cuba, never as today has been so harassed, poor and unhappy……
    Same happened in USSR and China under communism….. natural and ecological catastrophes caused by regimes irrational and indolent policy suceded continously ….. of course then like now in Cuba regimes never publics or recognizes such thigns.

  9. Simba
    You are welcome!
    We as citizens of the world should worry about all this problems of the future that is near. We need to do the right decisions. A little mistake and it will be the end for humanity. The more advance technology goes the more likely such thing could happen.
    I am for technology obviously but we need to be very careful.
    As one Russian put it in a movie I saw

    Don’t f*!ck with mother nature!

    Please excuse my language.

    If I am pressed to give a quick answer to your question I will say all animals have the same right to be here as we do. Not less or more. So we should protect them since they can not protect themselves.
    We are in fact doing that now.

  10. Simba Sez: Firstly Julio, you are certainly not obligated to answer me, nor should you study to do so. I’m just blathering on about something that few have any interest in. What I really think will happen at some point though is nature will heal itself in some manner. Something like one of the great plagues of the past will regulate human population. AIDs hasn’t done it, H1N1 Influenza didn’t do it, but something will. Let us hope it will not be a slow thing like mass starvation. I’m probably old enough that I’ll never see it happen, but I fear for my grandchildren. Thank you for your views and insight.

  11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe
    Simba This is similar to what you talk about. He was base in the fact that populations tent to grow in geometrical sequence so at one point he claim we will be unable to feed all this people. What he fail to see is that technological advances in agriculture made the land more productive than ever before so what is the real limit for us on earth? How many of us can earth sustain?
    I don’t know.

  12. So should we go back to the middle ages? or to the 1800s?
    The point is we can not go back. We have the population we have and if you read Malthus he had similar feelings about over population.

    What should we do?
    Should we do like Chinese? One child per couple?
    or other measures that lead to less population?
    As I was saying these are hard questions. I do not have answer for I have to think more and get more information.

  13. Simba Sez: But Julio, if there were not an overpopulated earth then there would not be the need for so much industry, if there is actually a need for any of it. If the earth’s population were only half what it is there would only need to be half so much industry for example, thereby causing only half so many problems. Yet, we are assuming that the industry is necessary. Is it, or are we merely getting into wants instead of needs? Humans survived nicely for many centuries without this industry. Is it necessary? I offer that overpopulation is yet the culprit.
    Do we need the other animals? Yes, I believe we do. Our environment is a balanced one. All fauna and flora have a place and a use on this earth. When you remove something from it, it starts an imbalance problem. There have been many instances of this proven. Our environment is a predator/prey relationship. Remove a predator and the prey will multiply, causing an imbalance somewhere else in the system.

  14. Reason is the only one that can take initiative is the leader. If the leader have not thought about it then is not good for the country.

    Capitalism works different. There is a problem
    Procuring energy.
    What is the solution?
    Many solutions come to mind from solar to wind energy to all the other know choices.
    Multiple companies could invest on each of them each one is taking risks on the investment.
    Very very different!

  15. I agree with Simba and with Proletariat let me explain
    Overpopulation is one of the problems but there is and could also be a contribution by industry to the environmental problem so we need to tell government and elect officials that understand and know about the environment. I agree with Simba socialism is and will be a worst performer here.

    For example Cuba is a socialist country. Cuba has immense solar resources that they could have put to good use to produce energy in 50 years.

    Have they?

    No

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