Bitter Coffee


To have a sip of coffee in the morning is the national equivalent of breakfast. We can lack everything, bread, butter and even the ever unobtainable milk, but to not have this hot, stimulating crop to wake up to is the preamble to a bad day, the reason for leaving the house bad-tempered and fit to burst. My grandparents, my parents, all the adults I saw as a child, drank cup after cup of that dark liquid, while they talked. Whenever anyone came to the house, the coffee was put on the stove because the ritual of offering someone a cup was as important as giving them a hug or inviting them in.

A few weeks ago Raul Castro announced that they were going to begin mixing other ingredients in the ration market coffee. It was nice to hear a president speak of these culinary matters, but mostly it was the source a popular joke, that he would say something officially that has been common practice – for years – in the roasting plants of the entire Island. Not only citizens have been adulterating our most important national drink for decades, the State has also applied its ingenuity without declaring it on the label. Nor will they use the adjective “Cuban” in the distribution of this stimulating beverage, as it’s no secret to anyone that this country imports large quantities from Brazil and Columbia. Instead of the 60 thousand tons of coffee once produced here, today we only manage to pick about six thousand tons.

In recent weeks “the black nectar of the white gods” — as it once was called – has become scarce. Housewives have had to revive the practice of roasting peas to ensure the bitter sip we need just to open our eyes. Whether it can be called coffee, we don’t know, but at least it is something hot and bitter to drink in the morning.

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38 thoughts on “Bitter Coffee

  1. As for coffee production, Castro promised in the 1960s that in few years Cuba would export hundreds of thousands of bags to everyone, but what took place was a steady decline of its production and for the last 40 years it has not been enough even to satisfy domestic consumption reason why the aromatic grain is mixed with kidney beans and other imported grains to supply it to the consumers, in small quantities established in a ration book dating from 1962, in order to control the supply of basic foodstuffs to the population.

  2. Let us NOT lose the focus from the obvious truth here: the team “yoani” are wannabe Castros after Castros.

    Manipulating the truth, editing posts to remove the facts that demonstrate how wrong they are, and that their “articles” anout Cuba are but a stupid and outdated imperialist-style propaganda no one in their right mind can take for seriously, except as a proof that these people are indeed a bunch of terrorists in the making: THAT is our team “yoani”!!!!!!!!!!

    Did you think that no one would notice how you (the team “yoani”/ “friendly” translator/admin) cut the very ending of the post 29 where a Cuban lady staded that she had returned to Cuba after 49 years in Philadelphia because “the life here is GOOD!!!!” ?????

    THANK you the team “yoani” for YET AGAIN CONFIRMING my words that you are cheap manipulators and liars.

    And that whole this page is a joke!!!

    May Cuba prospers and fights against the low life-criminals like yourselves!!!!

    Go Cuba!!! The world is with you. Never give up against the loser foreigners who want you to be what they want so that could steal everything from you!!!

  3. Keep focus as a laser beam, this post is about the coffee production debacle under the Castro brothers dictatorship.

    Before 1959 Cuba used to produce some of the finest Arabic Coffee in the world. Nowadays Cubans are allocated through the ration book only 4 ounces of coffee a month per person, and the coffee is mixed with peas to increase the yield, which in turn reduce the quality of the coffee. What an inept regime, it destroys everything it touch’s. The brothers’ rule are the root of the problem, they should be removed from power.

  4. HA, HA, HA, HA….!!!!

    Losers!!!!!

    Did you think that no one would notice how you (the team “yoani”/ “friendly” translator/admin) cut the very ending of the post 29 where a Cuban lady staded that she had returned to Cuba after 49 years in Philadelphia because “the life here is GOOD!!!!” ?????

    THANK you the team “yoani” for YET AGAIN CONFIRMING my words that you are cheap manipulators and liars.

    ANd that whole this page is a joke!!!

    May Cuba prospers and fights against the low life-criminals like yourselves!!!!

    Go Cuba!!! The world is with you. Never give up against the loser foreigners who want you to be what they want so that could steal everything from you!!!

  5. And then there was a question:

    “““Now is the time to move”, says Ada Fuentes, who recently came back to Havana after 49 years in New Jersey. “If you have money, life’s good here”.

    The life is GOOD in Cuba.”

    And what if it is not?

    And which capitalist country, of those few still fending off inevitable bancrupcy, does not have the poor.

    Go ask that same question millions of poor people living on the streets of capitalist utopias. Thousands of homeless dying right now as you read this, in the underground of “free” and “democratic” usa, left out in cold during the coldest snowstorm ever in the north America.

    And there’s another one coming in the next day or so.

    Ask them what do they think about this “paradise” on earth called “capitalist democracy”.

    60 million of people live in poverty in the usa. That is 20% of the opulation.

    What happened to the “free, rich and dmoceratic” country to have so many poor?

    Capitalism.

  6. @#31
    …go & hide little boy before the boogy man catches you, he knows who you are & where you hide ..

  7. Damir, Jesus asked the man his name, and he answered, “Legion, for we are many”!!
    Actually for us here at this bog is “Gusanos, for we are many”!!

  8. And thanks to a self confession in post 15, the confirmation of my conclusions, well known to those who are reading this web site for a while has been confirmed:

    albert and john bibb are the same person. Now, if only s/he would confess being humberto, igor, joanna, yubano, and other two or three anti-cubans here, the circle would be closed completely.

    ANd the whole noise could be attributed to one only sick and frail octogenarian loser still mulling over the trashing and defeat delivered by the Castros some, oh… a half of the century ago…!!!!!

    Ha ha ha !!!!!!!

    Must be really hurting when a person about to kick the bucket still only thinks about the defeat.

  9. I would like to draw attention of those failed “democrats” who have nothing else to say but to parrot their ideoligical nonsense about how “bad” is in Cuba tothe very ending of the post 29, from the known confused octogenarian loser:

    ““Now is the time to move”, says Ada Fuentes, who recently came back to Havana after 49 years in New Jersey. “If you have money, life’s good here”.

    The life is GOOD in Cuba.

    Stark contrast with “kids pick coffee”, or “Cubans are starving”, or “economy is disaster”, and similar crap we have to wake up to every day by the same loudsheaters…sorry loudspeakers, of the failed and defeated “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” ideology archi-romantics.

    Give it up grand-grand-fathers and mothers. No one cares about your failed vision of the world that hadn’t existed ever, certainly not when you were young.

  10. Here is something about what the rebolution has done w/the agricultural resources of Cuba w/a smal preface included:
    …”To blame U.S. economic sanctions for the existence of a rationing system of basic food products is not a very sound argument to justify Cuba’s socialist system. It is an admission that Cubans cannot even produce what grows very easily on Cuban soil. If one lists the food products that have been rationed since 1962, it becomes evident that almost all of them were in abundance before the 1959 revolution and were produced domestically. Granted, some Cubans have been unable to consume a wide variety of food products because of the high prices under the rationing system, but there have been periods in which the abundance of several products have demonstrated the feasibility of returning to a stable and ample food supply. Examples include the proliferation of FrutiCuba (a chain of government stores) which was devoted exclusively to selling fruits and vegetables in the mid-1960s, free farmers’ markets in the 1980s, the free agricultural markets after 1994, and the new food outlets. These testify to the ability of Cuban farmers to produce abundant food supplies despite U.S. economic sanctions. Domestic production could do away with the food rationing system. It is very relevant to recall that, when the Soviet bloc was subsidizing the Cuban economy to the tune of five billion dollars per year, food was still rationed in Cuba.

    Some Characteristics of the Rationing System:
    The ration quota is distributed in what Cubans call bodegas and placitas. In its broadest definition, a bodega is an outlet for the selling of food products, or a food store. It can be a modern one, such as a supermarket, or a small one-door place. A placita is usually a small outlet for the distribution of fruits and vegetables, which is also known in Cuba as puesto. These are the two main outlets that sell rationed products. Many of these outlets had been in existence since pre-revolutionary times but were expropriated and later became the only outlets involved in the selling of rationed food. Others have been added in some neighborhoods while some have been closed with the passage of time.

    Daily Intake Supplied and Available Food Products:
    According to Nova González (2000a, p. 146), it has been estimated that, on average, the rationed market supplies around 61% of the calories, 65% of the vegetable proteins, 36% of the animal proteins, and 38% of the fats of the daily diet of the Cuban population. Two issues have to be pointed out here. First, the figures will depend on when, how, and where they are measured. For example, in another publication, Nova González (2000b, p. 1) states that, in 1999, the rationed market contributed 49% of the calories, 40% of the vegetable proteins, 30% of the animal proteins, and 19% of the fats of the daily diet in the Ciudad de la Habana province. Second, the quantities of rationed goods allocated to households are greater in Havana than in other parts of the country.

    Since the rationing system does not supply the daily required amounts of calories, proteins, and fats, Cubans who can afford it have to go to other food outlets to meet the minimum daily requirement, either in Cuban pesos at the agricultural markets or in U.S. dollars at special dollar stores.

    Impact of the Special Period:
    The Special Period (established in September of 1990 to face the economic hardships resulting from the demise of the Soviet bloc) brought about sharp reductions in the availability of food products in the rationed market. More than 10 years after the beginning of the Special Period, quota amounts have yet to return to the level of the1980s. Dramatic examples of meager per capita quotas include one pound of chicken per month, six ounces of coffee (mixed with soybean or other product) per month, and six pounds of rice per month. Another problem is that, according to Díaz Vázquez (2000), the quotas are not supplied at the time they are due and in the quantities specified. Meat derivatives, distributed by novena (every nine days, rather than weekly, to save one quota per month), encompass: (a) fricandel, similar to sausages; (b) ground beef extendido or texturizado, a 50/50 blend of meat and soybean product; (c) mortadella, made from ground chicken and other ingredients; and (d) masa cárnica, includes meat balls and croquettes. The population refers to these meat products with the acronym OCNI (Objeto Comestible No Identificado), or non-identified edible object (2000, p. 51).

    Monthly Food Expenses:
    It is hard to calculate the monthly food expenses of rationed goods because all items are not always delivered on time and because, in some instances, they are scheduled to be delivered bimonthly. Despite those difficulties, the monthly expenses for a household of four adults (no children, no one over 65, no special diets), were calculated under the assumption of the availability of all listed items during the month. The total monthly expenses amounted to between 140.35 and 162.79 Cuban pesos. The average monthly wage in Havana in 1998 was 217 pesos (CEE, 1998, p. 107). Therefore, food expenses in the rationed market for a family of four, under the assumptions made, amounted to around 70% of the monthly wage if only one person was working and about 18% of combined monthly wages if all four members of the household were employed. In per capita terms, the figures translate as between 35.09 and 40.70 pesos per month.

    A much lower figure was calculated by Nova González (2000b). According to him, total monthly expenses on rationed food amounted to 66 Cuban pesos for a family of four in the city of Havana in 1999, or 16.50 Cuban pesos per person. The list of rationed food products, however, was not provided in the publication, making comparisons with the previous calculations impossible. He also calculated monthly expenses for the same family for food not purchased with the ration booklet. Those expenses amounted to an additional 590.70 Cuban pesos for the entire family, or 147.67 Cuban pesos per person. The total food bill, therefore, amounted to 656.70 Cuban pesos for the entire family, or 164.17 Cuban pesos per person.

    The above figures are shocking indeed. With a monthly wage of 217 pesos, after spending 126.30 pesos on food, the average Cuban would be left with only 90.70 Cuban pesos per person to cover the rest of the living expenses, or 362.80 Cuban pesos for a working family of four. This situation urged the official newspaper Granma Internacional to publish an article entitled “More food, but still draining the family pocket” (Pagés, 2001).

    Despite the fact that rationed products are sold at subsidized prices (fixed throughout the country), their supply always falls short. Since, according to the majority of Cubans, the rationed items are not enough to feed a person for the entire month, those who can afford it are forced to fulfill their needs for the remainder of the month (usually about two weeks) through purchases in other outlets where prices are much higher and/or where the purchases must be made with U.S. dollars.

    References:
    Alvarez, José. 2004. Cuba’s Agricultural Sector. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

    Benjamin, Medea, Joseph Collins, and Michael Scott. 1986. No Free Lunch—Food and Revolution in Cuba Today. New York, NY: Grove Press.

    CEE. Comité Estatal de Estadísticas. Annual Issues. Anuario Estadístico de Cuba. La Habana: Editorial Estadística.

    Díaz Vázquez, Julio A. 2000. Consumo y Distribución Normada de Alimentos y Otros Bienes en Cuba.” In La Ultima Reforma Agraria del Siglo—La Agricultura Cubana entre el Cambio y el Estancamiento, edited by Hans-Jürgen Burchardt, pp. 33-56. Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial Nueva Sociedad.

    Dumont, Rene. 1970. Cuba, ¿Es Socialista? Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial Tiempo Nuevo.

    Espinosa Chepe, Oscar. 2001. “La Gran Coartada.” CubaNet Independiente, at: http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y01/jul01/23a4.htm.

    Handelman, Howard. 1981-1982. Cuban Food Policy and Popular Nutritional Levels. Cuban Studies 11 (2) & 12 (1): 127-146.

    León Cotayo, Nicanor. 1991. Sitiada la Esperanza. La Habana: Editorial Cultura Popular.

    Nova González, Armando. 2000a. “El Mercado Agropecuario.” In La Ultima Reforma Agraria del Siglo – La Agricultura Cubana entre el Cambio y el Estancamiento, edited by Hans-Jürgen Burchardt, pp. 143-150. Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial Nueva Sociedad.

    Nova González. 2000b. El Mercado Interno y el Aceso a los Alimentos en Cuba. Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana, Universidad de la Habana, Ciudad de la Habana. Mimeographed.

    Pagés, Raisa. 2001. Más Alimentos pero aún Siguen Drenando el Bolsillo Familiar. Granma Internacional, August 4.

    Scarpaci, Joseph L. 1995. The Emerging Food and Paladar Market in Havana. Cuba in Transition 5: 74-84.

    So the record of the rebolution, no matter what year reflects its failures … so for coffee in particular does not look good in 2010.

  11. On 1956 the island exported 20,000 MT of coffee valued at over $20 million. In 1957 it produced 43,600 MT of coffee beans and exported only 11,200 tons due to the guerrilla war in the main coffee growing area. In 2004 the coffee production was 13,440 MT and in 2009 only 6,000 MT. Coffee per capita in 1958 with a population of 6.6 million was 14.5 lb, in 2009 with a population of 11.3 million only 1.2 lb.

  12. THE ECONOMIST:Cuba’s Swap shop-Where a beach-front house can be (almost) yours for a snip

    CUBA’S government likes to crow that over 85% of Cubans own their homes. The claim is technically correct. However, there is a catch: holding title to a property does not give you the right to sell it. The only legal way to move in Cuba is by swapping residences—a slow, bureaucratic and often corrupt process known as the permuta (“exchange”), which requires finding two roughly similar properties and getting state approval. To avoid this hassle, some Cubans prefer to marry the owner of a property, transfer the deed, and divorce.

    Because there is no incentive to build new homes, Cuba suffers from a dire housing shortage. Many buildings have been repeatedly subdivided. In some families three generations share one bedroom.

    After replacing his brother as president in 2008, Raúl Castro has legalised and taxed bits of Cuba’s informal economy, like pirated DVDs and used furniture. Now he has turned to housing. In 2010 the government relaxed rules on forming building companies and buying building materials. It is preparing to let foreigners buy property in tourist zones. And in April the Communist Party Congress is expected to allow Cubans to “buy, sell, or swap” their homes.

    The effect of these measures may be limited. Most permutas already involve money under the table—ranging from a few thousand dollars to $40,000 for a smart three-bedroom flat. The market will be heavily regulated: officials say they will ban the (as yet undefined) “accumulation” of property. And buyers may be discouraged if they have to prove that their money did not come from the vast black market.

    Even so, allowing selling is risky. It will raise tax revenues, but could belie Cuba’s myth of material equality. If too many luxury homes pop up, the poor may further doubt that America’s trade embargo is the cause of their misery. Already a cluster of sea-front houses west of Havana, acquired via permuta by pop stars and foreigners, is getting its first lick of paint in decades.

    The market will probably benefit from Barack Obama’s loosening of the embargo. He has relaxed most limits on visits and remittances, which should increase demand for Cuban homes and the amount buyers can pay. Some Cuban-Americans are even considering returning for retirement. “Now is the time to move”, says Ada Fuentes, who recently came back to Havana after 49 years in New Jersey. “If you have money, life’s good here”.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18063684?story_id=18063684&fsrc=rss

  13. #22 I was a schoochild in Eastern Europe. Starting grade 5 we spent the entire month of october on the field: we harvested corn, tomatoes, beets. This is how communists do it. SLAVERY.

  14. Damir, Maria and the rest of you, I think people would take you more seriously if you addressed the topic in hand rather than constantly pointing to the “evils” of capitalism. Nobody is blind to the shortcomings of capitalism, especially in the past couple of years, but this blog is about what is going wrong in Cuba. Saying “oh but it’s so much worse in the USA” is exactly the kind of tactic used by the Castro brothers in an attempt to deflect attention from their pathetic failings in Cuba.

  15. Another Castro brothers regime great success story. The import of coffee by the regime is equivalent to the import of sugar, an unthinkable thing to happen 51 years ago. The destruction of the island economy, is not cause by the embargo, is due to the Castro brothers dictatorship, corruption and mismanagement.

  16. School children is who harvests the mature coffee bean of the cafetales in the mountains of Guantanimo. Children age 11-15 who should be in class rooms. Thats the reality of CUBA.

  17. #12,13,14, Albert, I am truly sorry for your loss. I feel it every time I think of loved ones and good friends in Cuba, or visit. One of the most surprising things when I first started going to Cuba were the elderly who said that life was better under Batista. Including many who were poor under Batista. I agree that there is too much name calling and political platitudes, and not enough love and caring in the world. I pray that whatever “ism” happens in Cuba, my poor friends will stop going hungry, and some running water (please Raoul, just an hour a day) would be nice too.

  18. #7 “There are people in Latin Amerika that don´t even have food.”
    So true. So sad. Ditto Egypt and Tunisia – the new democratic hopes for some here (the fact that the Egyptian regime has been propped up for years by the USA seems to escape people here or that one of the greatest supporters of dissent in Tunisia is democratic Iran)!!

  19. ASSOCIATED PRESS: Cuba to free 4 opposition prisoners

    HAVANA (AP) — Cuba’s government has agreed to free four opposition prisoners and send them into exile in Spain, a Roman Catholic Church official said Wednesday, but none of them are among a group of 11 prominent peaceful dissidents jailed since a 2003 crackdown on dissent.

    Church spokesman Orlando Marquez said Wednesday that Alexis Borges, Victor Jesus Hechavarria, Osmel Arevalos Nunez and Rodrigo Gelacio Santos are all to be let go in coming days.

    Borges is serving a 15-year-sentence for hijacking and is on a list of about 100 political prisoners maintained by Elizardo Sanchez, a well-known Cuban human rights leader. The list contains both violent and nonviolent prisoners jailed for crimes against state security.

    Little was immediately known about the other men, but Sanchez told The Associated Press that all three were serving jail terms for violent acts.

    Under a deal announced in July by Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Cuba was to free 52 peaceful activists and social commentators detained in the 2003 roundup.

    Authorities quickly released 41 of the men, sending all but one of them into exile along with their families. But the process has ground to a halt in recent months, as those who remain behind bars have refused to leave Cuban soil.

    “It’s interesting that they are using the wide-open door provided by Spain to rid themselves of prisoners implicated in violence — people who wouldn’t be accepted in any other country — while at the same time keeping the 11 peaceful prisoners locked up,” Sanchez said.

    Alejandrina Garcia, the wife of one of those 11 prisoners, began a hunger strike on Friday to demand her husband’s release.

    Garcia’s husband, Diosdado Gonzalez, and another dissident prisoner, Pedro Arguelles, joined the hunger strike on Tuesday. Gonzalez is being held at a maximum security prison in Matanzas, while Arguelles is in jail in the central province of Ciego de Avila.

    Alexander Aguilar, a spokesman for Garcia, said she has already lost five pounds since she stopped eating. He said she was only drinking water.

    The Cuban government had no immediate comment on the hunger strikes, and it was impossible to independently verify the authenticity of the protests. Cuban authorities consider all of the dissidents to be mercenaries paid by Washington to destabilize the government.

    Garcia is one of the founding members of the Ladies in White, an opposition group comprised of the wives and mothers of jailed dissidents. Another of the group’s leaders, Laura Pollan, visited her Wednesday to see how she was holding up.

    “She is in good spirits,” Pollan said. “But we are very worried about her.”

    Associated Press reporter Andrea Rodriguez contributed to this report.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i5_p48_DaxPcdqaL01DzAsULqL2A?docId=a629821ebf7743e4bfdfae55aec64e65

  20. Igor, I’m gay and I have even danced with an Afro-Cuban transexual with fish net stocking and a bustie at The Conga Room in L.A. several years ago! I actually like the idea of a Damira! Maybe we can dance together at The Tropicana when the CASTROFACISTS FALL!

  21. AFP: Two dissidents (from the Black Spring) start hunger strike in Cuba

    HAVANA — Two of the 11 high-profile Cuban political dissidents who rejected a deal for foreign exile have begun a hunger strike, an opposition group said Wednesday.

    The move came as the Catholic Church said Cuba would release four other prisoners charged with piracy and send them to Spain.

    The hunger strikers are part of a group of 52 political detainees who were to be freed in a deal brokered by the Catholic Church with President Raul Castro in July.

    Of the group, 40 agreed to emigrate to Spain with their families and one stayed in Cuba, but the remaining 11 are still in jail and refuse to be exiled.

    The agreed-upon deadline for their release expired on November 7.

    Elizardo Sanchez, member of an illegal but tolerated human rights group, identified the hunger strikers as Diosdado Gonzalez and Pedro Arguelles — both Amnesty International prisoners of conscience.

    The two, who began their hunger strike Tuesday, have turned down the offer to move to Spain and are demanding to be released in Cuba.

    They began their hunger strike in solidarity with Gonzalez’s wife Alejandrina Garcia, who has only been drinking water since Friday.

    “I will not stop this hunger strike until he is released,” Garcia told AFP in a phone call from her home in the town of Perico, in Matanzas province, 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of Havana.

    “The government has made a mockery of these 11 men,” she said.

    Laura Pollan, leader of the Ladies in White — a group of female relatives of the jailed dissidents — visited Garcia, a 44 year-old agronomist, on Wednesday. She said she failed to dissuade her from starting the hunger strike.

    “The government has raised false expectations, because it said that everyone in the group would be released including those who reject leaving the country, but that has all been a lie,” said Pollan.

    Pollan’s husband Hector Maseda is one of the jailed dissidents.

    The four prisoners heading to Spain face piracy charges and do not belong to the original group of 52, according to a note from the office of the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega.

    According to Sanchez, the men are accused of using violence in an attempt to hijack vessels in failed attempts to flee Cuba, as well as other acts of violence.

    “We are happy about to learn about the prison releases, but the government is using Spain’s open door to get rid of prisoners that are bothersome, while 11 prisoners of conscience remain in prison,” Sanchez said.

    Dissident sources say around 100 political prisoners remain jailed in Cuba.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gJg2474dj-OsAAZiOQSQLWWCes0w?docId=CNG.2ac7cf34584c6f23ffb15e6f2a95d861.7a1

  22. Humberto, you are probably right. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” ( quoting Seinfeld).

  23. Igor, I think there is some crossdressing here with the “Rovolutionary Ratinas”!

  24. sorry for the confusion … I am the author of #12
    “… for the most part …”

  25. For the most part my point I am sure will be lost in the superficiallity of some other people’s observations.
    My reality is knowing, having heard & suffering the results of believing in the barbudos & their promise for a change, their publically declared commitment to protecting the rule of law, 50 years later I still regret giving my support to this animals.
    All the rethoric, all the intellectual babble, all the statistic & examples used don’t mean a thing, there is poverty all over the world, there still is exploitation, eviromental dangers & economic fears all part of “the human condition” & while most humans strive to improve it does not mean a thing to me I care about Cuba first & all others second.
    Over 50 years ago some one came down from the hills & took over Cuba in the name of our freedom, they promised that w/hard work we’ll have a better way life,.
    We were told how to think & they revised our history, revisioned our Marti …
    Today the barbudos from the hills are rich & powerful & after killing their perceived threats in La Cabana & other places together w/ass kissing cronies they still make their pronouncements & still exploit us.
    My Cuba is poorer today than 50 yers ago, her resources depleted & her people in dispair, hope hanging by a thread.
    Yet still there is people posturnig & preaching about communism, capitalism & every other ism there is, well … I do not care about all the theories or who is right or wrong about their intellectual platitudes, personal insults & definitions of people.
    Most of these people live in relative confort enjoying their freedoms while seeping their coffee but … in my Cuba life is different.

    So poverty is relative, coffee is as well …

  26. ***
    No coffee makes for a bad day. But the Castro Brothers hope the Cuban People will be too tired to fire them.
    ***
    No cafe causa una mala dia. Pero los Hermanos Castro esperan que la Gente Cubano estaran demasiado cansado a desoccuparles.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  27. Where do you get a real cuban coffee or colada? Everywhere in Miami or in selected places in Havana.

  28. Wow! Me sorprende como esta los incubiertos aquí haciendo propaganda a un comunismo que no sirve, que solo ha sabido privarle d la libertad a su pueblo, libertad a la expresion, prensa, noticias, comunicación, etc. Si, no es solo que si el café es o no es puro, es lo que una vez hubo y ya no hay, y eso se le llama buen cambio?
    Ah si, como tambien se le llama cambio el k un cubano no tiene acceso a medicinas en una farmacia local pero en la de turistas las medicinas llueven a millones? O k no tengan acceso a un super d comida con góndolas llenas d productos pero al super d un turista ahi los productos llueven! O la restricción a cable d televisión pero el turista, extranjero y los líderes si tienen acceso a satélites. Hmm, o el simple hecho k el cubano común vive en un salario d casi $20 USD, pero todo esta carísimo k ni un celular o computadora se pueden comprar. O peor aun, k ni al internet pueden entrar xk todo esta controlado para k no vean la informacion fuera d Cuba y lo k sucede en el mundo. Los mejores doctores en Cuba pero lis migran a otros países y solo existe los mejores hospitales para el turismo medico, xk el cubano común tiene k ir a un lugar k esta podrido, donde ni siquiera t dan sabanas, o existe el aire condicionado…
    Si vaya, eso si que es vida y eso si k es un “gran” comunismo. Eso si k es cambio. Deberían d encerrar a todos los puercos del comunismo en una fosa y darles del mismo jarabe a todos, darles el mismo ración d alimentos y d jabón y papel higiénico a ver k pasaría… Claro, el líder comunista vive bien a cuesta del cubano y del turismo mientas k su pueblo vive en la pobreza mas infrahumana.
    Esos, son los verdaderos gusanos!

  29. And by the way there is sad to see a country that is selling all its crops to other countries while their own citizens cannot buy those crops. This is how communism survived in Eastern Europe for 5 decades.

  30. LOL, Dumbir+Colin= Maria S . Using female nicknames now. Come on, MINIT. By the way, you probably watch the news from Cairo. That is how you do it: you get the people off the streets for 2 days then you put them in plan clothes, armed on camels and horses and asked them to beat up the people who want freedom. Learn from it because it will happen in Havana too.

  31. Hey! You can´t have youre coffé. There are people in Latin Amerika that don´t even have food. Especially not the coffeworkers risking their life in contaminaited fields because they don´t have a choice. Why don´t you go back to the “free europe”/Switzerland? Guess there are no poor people?? Maybe you don´t have the good life there, payed by Washington. Have you heard about Wikileaks. You are unmasked.
    Damir, go!!

  32. Another great thing that happens in Cuba very often. Cuban police is stopping people on the streets and searches their bags for no reason. I guess they can get in trouble if caught with products ( mailny meat/seafood) ) bought from black market. Come on MINIT employees explain yourselves and your actions. I want to hear that your police is searching for weapons and walky-talkeys. Hey readers of this blog, do know that you can get in trouble if you are caught entering Cuba with walkey-talkeys ???? Our kids use them a toys while the Cuban Governement is considering them as highly dangerous.

  33. Albert, that “best health care” hits the spot. The picture from the Havana Psychiatric Hospital are similar with the pictures from Dachau or Auschwitz.

  34. What is in the coffe or if it is instant or not …
    Some people puts more stock in the superficial rather than the “meat” of the conversation.
    It is about the things once upon a time taken for granted which are now days missed, all along we hoped that the changes & improvements promised over 50 years ago would become a reality since we were told by the rebolution that change was needed & they wwould gett it for us, we we asked to do voluntary work, sacrifice & belive but today things are worst.
    We are highly educated w/no work as we are “rented” to other countries.
    We are in a country w/the “best health care” in the world yet our system is antiquated, our hospitals dilapidated & the control of our health is not ours.Ours public transportation is deplorable, our electrig grid is in disrepair, our swere system almost collapsed, the phone system unreliable but to use an old slogan: “vamos bien”
    No is not about the coffe, the beans, instant orn not … is about what we once had & now we do not have …
    Its not about beans or powder adultereated or not, is about the contemplation of the question: “are we better off than yesteryears?

  35. Dumbir, your MINIT collegues who gave you the follwing info : ” A shot of espresso, the traditional Italian kickstart to the day…”
    were off. Please ask them to send some spies in the Western World to get the real price of cofee. In Canada you can buy the Lavazza 250 g for 3.99. It is imported from Italy and in my humble opinion is the best when you make esspreso. My Breville esspreso machine costed me aprox $250. I can also go to Starbucks or Second Cup or Timothys for a $2 esspresso but I preffer to make my coffes at home. I also have a French Press and I also make Turkish Cofee and I have to tell you that for each type fo coffee I buy a different type of coffee ( never instant- because during communism in Romania instant was the only tyoe of coffee available ) . As for Cubans from the island, I feel bad for them not because they can;t buy the good Cuban coffee but because sometimes they DO NOT have electricity to make the freakin’ coffee. Especially during summer months the Cuban Government cuts the electricity in the cities/villages. Both MINIT clowns Dumb and Dumber claim that they travel extensively through Cuba but they forgot to mention this fact. Why ? Because they are part of the Propaganda !!

  36. We are sorry to inform you but here in the U.S.A. we can still purchase 100% pure dark roasted Bustelo or Pilon Cafe at our local Bodega or Publix or Walmart or even 7/11 in 10 ounce vacuum-sealed packages for $2.75 or so and all the milk, half and half, cream, evaporated milk or whatever you want and BTW not only do we still have millions of jobs but we are rehiring by the thousands, our tourism numbers are up over the last two seasons specially so thanks to European travelers as well as northerners and Canadians and thankfully people like yourself are recognized as aberrant ideologues who are so twisted by their hatreds as to not be able to see any of the truth or beauty that the world has to offer, take a chill pill and smell the roses.

  37. Ah, so much ignorance so little brain.

    The adulterated coffee, called also an “instant” coffee, or Nesquick, or whatever, has been sold in capitalism for yonks.

    Fact, it hs been sold for the better part of the last 50 years.

    But it takes a blind demagogue (enters the team “yoani” to fill the job opening…) to declare that something typical Cuban…

    A shot of espresso, the traditional Italian kickstart to the day (look, not only Cubans drink coffee… !!! A miracle, ain’t it?!) costing 3.5 euros, and being only 10ml in size, had forced millions to drink the dust compressed and granulated into the “instant” coffee to replace the real thing.

    Ok, we do have the milk, true. So we happilly cash out 5 euros for a cappucino, to get a bit more of the real thing (thanks to the milk).

    Providing we still have a job to cling on to, in the glorious and wonderful world of “some kind of pragmatic capitalism”, of course.

    After all, the glorious system has crumbled on its own in 2007 and we are now fighting for survival.

    Marx be blessed for capitalism. We still only have barely 30% of unemployment and a hipe something miraculous will happen and save our backsides from total autodestruction.

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