Mangos Every Summer


The branches bend under the weight and children throw stones and shake the limbs trying to knock down the fruit. It’s mango season. Like a cycle of life that transcends the crisis, the lack of vision, and the failed agricultural plans, the mangoes come again, the filipinos and bizcochuelos. We are at exactly the moment when the most humble courtyard in a forgotten hamlet can compare itself with a meticulously tended garden in Miramar. It is enough that the old mango tree planted by the grandparents is bearing fruit for the whole family to begin to revolve around it.

Right now, while cutting some mangoes given to us by Augustine, I think of how my life is marked by the memories associated with this smell and texture. The little ones, preserved in syrup, that we ate during my vacations in the village of Rodas, the green tart ones that we salted at the schools in the countryside, and those others that we stole–driven by hunger–from the Experimental Farm in the municipality of Guira during the dark days of the Special Period. And after one bite, the strings caught between my teeth, the juice dripped down my chin and dirtied my clothes, I sucked the seed until it was white, and threw the rind on the floor where it was as slippery as a banana peel.

Mangoes evoke every stage of my existence, each one of the periods we have gone through lately on this Island. I remember the free market known as Central–in the years of the Soviet subsidies–where I first tried Taoro brand mango nectar. Then came the process of “rectifying errors and negative tendencies,” with its sweeping away of the petty bourgeoisie; and when Taoro nectar reappeared ten years later it was sold only in convertible currency.

This fruit has the merit of having proved its incredible resistance to State farms, to the blunders that absorbed thousands of acres of land, like the 10 Million Ton Sugar Harvest, the plan to grow microjet bananas, and even the unwanted advances of the marabou weed. The stubborn mango is still here, marking our lives with its flavor, making any poor yard a haven of prosperity, at least as long as summer lasts.

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22 thoughts on “Mangos Every Summer

  1. ASSIGNMENTS FOR POLISH CLOWN COMRADE KOMAR, DAMIR AND OTHER CASTRO’S PAWNS.
    1. Offend and denigrate Yoani Sanchez and other dissidents against the Castro regime.
    2. Question the existence of this blog, and discredit its goals of showing the real Cuba.
    3. Create distractions, by diverting discussions over different topics.
    4. Contradicts any and/or every of the honest posting in this blog as well as participants’ point of view.
    5. Introduce links or/and references to media sponsored by Castro propaganda, with the intent of creating confusion about the realities of Cuba in prospect readers and foreign followers of this blog.
    6. Consume time and space when participants try to debate over Komar’s malicious postings.

  2. Recuerdo lo RRRRico y Jugosoco que eran(son) esos mangos, yo vivia en frente de una Iglesia en Guanabacoa y el cura me regalaba un cubo grande yeno de Mangos todos los veranos Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm QUE MEMORIA TAN SABROSA

  3. @#15
    Ur insults, ur bullying & name calling are what then? U are the hypocrit!

  4. Freud
    Junio 14th, 2011 at 17:18

    “Dear patient komar-damir,
    To accuse others of owns fails is an ugly thing…… don’t your mothers teach it to you????”
    I have only one mother. How many do You have.

  5. Dear patient komar-damir,
    To accuse others of owns fails is an ugly thing…… don’t your mothers teach it to you????

  6. Damir
    Junio 14th, 2011 at 04:11

    “Beatings will continue until morale improves”
    Comrade Komar

  7. The mango, originally from India, was introduced in Havana, Cuba in 1782. From the seeds of the first fruits the mango trees proliferated and became one of the most common fruit tree in the island. The biscochuelo mango was introduced in Santiago de Cuba around the end of the XIIX century by the French refugees from Haiti.

    Mangoes represent about 15 percent of all Cuban tropical fruit production. By 1994 mango production fell about 30 percent due to the lost of the Soviet Union subsidies of agricultural inputs, among them fertilizers and pesticides.

    The collapse of the island central planned economy, over three-fourths of the mango area was managed by the state farms, pushed the regime to increase fruit production by eliminating many state farms, the establishment of private agricultural markets, and reforestation efforts where mango trees are interplant with others trees.

    Mango production had a gradual recovery until 2004 and 2005 when hurricanes uprooted many trees. Another production recovery started in 2006 until now. Today, mangoes are quite expensive in Cuba.

  8. Comment 14, while typical and expected from a supporter of the team “yoani” illustrates the fact that teh team “yoani” are into double standards.

    They approve and encourage their support group to insult others, chase them around teh pages and try to intimidate, in order to force them away from this page.

    “democracy” and “freedom” of speech that they demand from Cuban government, yet temselves do not practice.

    And, I’ll have to point this out tomorrow again, because their relentless profanities and attacks on other people expressing their opinion will continue.

    After all, that is what hypocrites do. Talk a lot about one thing, but do the opposite themselves.

  9. Comrade Komar! Why dont you bend over and give me your ASS-ESEMENT! CAPISH?

  10. Humberto Capiro (El Cibergues@)
    Junio 12th, 2011 at 13:25

    If You have small balls big stick is pretty much useless.

  11. MIAMI HERALD: Real change eludes Cuba-BY MATTHEW BRADYAND KIRA RIBAR-Sunday, 06.12.11

    Cuban President Raúl Castro has announced economic reforms over the last several years, but have Cubans felt improvements in their lives as a result of these reforms or do they expect positive results from them in the future? Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no.

    Freedom House released a special report last week that details in-depth interviews with 120 Cubans living in six provinces in Cuba. The report, Real Change for Cuba? How Citizens View Their Country’s Future, reveals that while there are indications of limited economic change, most Cubans have neither felt nor believe they will feel noticeable improvements in their personal situation as a result of Castro’s reforms.

    Since 2008, Castro’s announcements and reforms have been heralded by some as the beginning of a new Cuba, an economic liberalization that will modernize Cuban society from its communist roots. Others have suggested the announcements are hollow promises and the reforms will only solidify Castro’s grip on Cuba’s political hierarchy. But what do Cubans think and what have they experienced since Castro took power from his ailing brother in 2006?

    Freedom House’s report shows that Cubans remain generally pessimistic about reforms and skeptical about their future, in part, because they have lived through other “reforms” in the last 20 years. Cubans endured the “Special Period” after the fall of the Soviet Union, when economic changes stemming from the loss of Soviet subsidies and supplies resulted in significant hardships for Cubans. They have seen restrictions relaxed on private enterprises only to watch the government later tighten the restrictions. Little surprise, then, that Cubans seem to take on an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude toward the most recent round of reforms.

    The report is full of personal stories and opinions on the reforms. A poet in Havana explained his skepticism, “This country can’t take another Special Period, not that the Special Period ever really ended!”

    A handicraft vendor from Santa Clara angrily declared: “They’re going to throw us out of our jobs, and then on top of that they’re cheating the elderly (by eliminating assistance programs). I have to take care of my in-laws. With what? It can’t be like this.”

    And, a university student in Pinar del Rio pointed out that “we can’t all be cuentapropistas (private business owners), and those who do have a business will have to earn a lot to be able to pay for the licenses.”

    The report also covers a sampling of Communist Party affiliates who believe the reforms will be successful, as well as some Cubans who are cautiously optimistic the reforms will bring positive change. However, the overwhelming impression is of a Cuban populace that is anxious about the future, worried about making ends meet, and has little reason to believe the reforms will personally benefit them.

    These stories provide insights into why Cubans have adopted a wait-and-see attitude towards Castro’s reforms. Cubans feel they have little control over government policy and do not have the right to freely express their opinions. “Everything is in the hands of the government, there’s not much to do,” said an information technology manager in Santiago. “Everyone watches you here,” stated a casa particular owner in Villa Clara. “If it’s not the government, it’s the neighbors who immediately alert the authorities when someone arrives.”

    Youth in particular are apathetic toward the future, are not involved in politics and tend to focus on how to fortify their personal situation. Meanwhile, the severe restrictions have left some Cubans feeling bitter about their current plight — alone and isolated without permission to move around the country or even outside the country.

    It is evident that, even with the moderate levels of optimism regarding the reforms, Cubans are skeptical that they will benefit personally from the reforms. As a young respondent in Havana put it, “Nothing really changes in Cuba. The country [is] . . . the same as it’s always been and, the way it looks, the same as it will always be.”

    Matthew Brady is program director at Freedom House, and Kira Ribar is a program officer.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/12/2261132/real-change-eludes-cuba.html

  12. Comrade Komar said: “Humberto, would You eat two mango fruits or, rather, put them in Your pants and pretend that You have big nuts?”

    No Comrade Komer-youknowhat! My nuts are regular size but what is between them is X-TRA LARGE! CAPISH?

  13. These Fidelon’s agents don’t REALZE, it is not a matter reading an article, or following a blog, this is a generation of Cubans who want to have a free country for themselves, free of crooks, a country where we can speak our mind and heart without any reprisals. A country where we, the Cubans will work tirelessly to make it a model of a society, respecting human rights, honoring the privilege of being born in Cuba. Rebuilding our motherland. We want everybody to know that.

  14. Freud
    Junio 12th, 2011 at 12:25

    Next time You prescribe me enema, don’t make me seat on Your face.

  15. Hehe…… Dear patient, maybe some of us stopped to read Yoani’s wonderful articles but it is OK if the non-reader is a democracy believer…… democracy believers have not to make this kind homework……… it is specially needed for antidemocratic patients…… like you……. and……. in your case…… Yoani have all the world’s merit by making you to read the lesson, comprehend it and then make your homework……. it is clear that your homework is influenced for your physic misbalanced and your extremely low intellectual capacity but something good it brings to your little head anyway…. we all are sure of this……. We all are sure too about the good these articles makes to all castrofascist agents that reads this blog as part of theirs “mission”…… step after step they will understand the actual world and they will have the truth………. Congratulations Yoa!!!!

  16. DAmir
    What is going on mirDA?, you are contradicting yourself, you wrote before that was a show of weakness any personal reference intended to denigrate, insult and intimidate.
    CHECK YOUR ENGLISH AND GO BACK TO SCHOOL
    verb. realize. re·al·ized, re·al·iz·ing, re·al·iz·es
    v.tr.
    1. To comprehend completely or correctly.
    2. To bring into reality; make real: He finally realized his lifelong ambition to learn how to play the violin.
    3. To make realistic: a film that realizes court life of the 17th century.
    4. To obtain or achieve, as gain or profit: She realized a substantial return on the investment.
    5. To bring in (a sum) as profit by sale.

    Adjective. realised – successfully completed or brought to an end; “his mission accomplished he took a vacation”; “the completed project”; “the joy of a realized ambition overcame him”

  17. I wonder if the team “yoani” realised that for a long while even their supporters have stopped reading the nonsense they serve here…?

  18. Humberto, would You eat two mango fruits or, rather, put them in Your pants and pretend that You have big nuts?

  19. Thanks a lot Friendly Translator…….. ultimatelly I was sure it was a technical problem….. thanks a lot.

  20. Sorry folks… I don’t know why but the spam checker apparently went a little nuts and suddenly “caught” a whole series of posts. They’re all “uncaught” and posted now. (At least all the ones that went to “pending” are… some it might have just erased without “asking me.”) I’ll keep a closer eye on things for a few days.

    Your Friendly English Translator

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