From Kerosene to Electricity

Fidel shows Cuban women how to use a pressure cooker during the 2005 "Emergy Revolution". Source: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/

Fidel shows Cuban women how to use a pressure cooker during the 2005 "Emergy Revolution". Source: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/

The kitchen no longer smells of kerosene, nor are the walls black with soot, nor is alcohol needed to “warm up” the stove. The tenement no longer wakes up with the noise of the air valve stoking the fire, and the lady’s allergies are not set off by the stench of burning. The little window no longer vents a gray smoke, and the food doesn’t have that faint taste of fuel. She no longer fears falling asleep and having the flames crawl through the wooden door. Now, no…

Now the problem is the electricity bill. The rice cooker that they gave out five years ago and that has had to be repaired dozens of time. The stove that was handed out in those days of the so-called Energy Revolution which seems to voraciously swallow kilowatts. The Chinese refrigerator — a replacement given out for the old Frigidaires — which spends more hours thawing than freezing. In short, now her great concern arises from the excessive bill with the blue numbers that they slip under her door.

If, before, she spent her day in search of fuel, now her pension goes to the high costs of electricity. Using the stove and water heater at least three times a week, means she now has to allocate 80% of her retirement to pay for energy. It’s gone from one distressing difficulty to another desperate one. She exchanges a ceiling covered in soot for several days a month with no electricity because she can’t pay for it. Before she could complain, swear, scream at the stove, howl to the four winds because the damn burner wears her out. Now, no. Because it’s all been “the Comandante’s idea,” the “Comandante’s program.”

35 thoughts on “From Kerosene to Electricity

  1. In 2011 the blackouts and rationing of electricity are still in place in the island, despite the micro generators incorporated into the national grid in 2006, a short-term solution since they are usually used in emergencies cases and are expensive. Power outages continue to occur almost in a daily basis after Fidel Castro announced they would disappear thanks to the Energy Revolution. This is due to the deterioration of the existing power plants, losses in transmission and distribution lines, and the decrease of the energy produced by micro generators. According to the Cuba’s National Statistic Office (ONE), the generation capacity of the micro generators capacity had diminished 11% from 2010 to 2011.

  2. No kidding the problem is the electricity bill it gets kind of crazy expensive if you forget to turn something off or if you even just use certain things on a daily basis. I don’t know i’m just grateful to have any electricity at all despite it’s expense

  3. HUFFINGTON POST: It’s Time For a Free Cuba – Nicholas Storozynski – Senior at Phillips Exeter Academy

    In 1958, a senior from my high school named Robert Thurman was expelled for trying to join Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba. I traveled to Cuba this August to see for myself what the legacy of that revolution really is. Any visitor to Cuba can see that the Castro Revolution is a failure.

    Walesa’s staff briefed me on the situation in Havana, and I found an educational tour that allowed my father and I to enter Cuba legally. The Institute provided me with contact information for dissidents. The itinerary of our official tour was loaded with propaganda about the wonders of Cuba’s medical care and high literacy rate. We asked questions and learned that the medical equipment that does exist is decades old and grossly inadequate. Additionally, the country’s 99 percent literacy rate is a lot easier to come by when the nation considers a first to third grade reading level “literate.”

    When we snuck away from the group to meet with regular Cubans, it was clear they were not as happy with the “revolution” as our guides would have had us believe.

    Most people live in poverty. Censorship is so strict that Cubans are not allowed on the Internet, and few people are allowed to have cell phones.

    People are discontent and organizing themselves to make that clear. A former Cuban Ambassador, Professor Gabriel Calaforra, for example, holds open meetings for young intellectuals to meet and talk at his apartment every Monday night.

    While Raul Castro may have eased some regulations imposed on the Cuban people, Calaforra says the outlook for Cubans is bleak. Sure, some Cubans are interacting with foreigners and making connections, “but for the rest of the Cuban youth, the situation is getting worse and
    worse. They have been living for decades being told that they don’t have to worry for their future because the government will do something for them. In reality, nothing has been done for them,” Calaforra said.

    That’s why people beg for money everywhere you go in Cuba. To Cubans, foreigners are “yumas.” There are two currencies in Cuba, the national peso, for Cubans and the convertible peso, or CUCs for “yumas” to buy items brought from Europe.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicholas-storozynski/its-time-for-a-free-cuba_b_1858951.html

  4. CL,

    In all seriousness, I urge you to read this book: Havana Noir, which a collection of short stories by various Cuban writers. Check out the story, “Zenzizenzic”, by Achy Obejas. You will be surprised to discover: you’re in the story!

    You should also brush up on Cuban property laws. For example, any person who lives in a house for 3 years is granted legal ownership of the house, “squatters rights” as it were. This means that if you buy the house, even if you have a secret signed contract with your Cuban friends attesting that you own the house, (a contract that would carry no legal weight in Cuba, by the way), you would lose title of your house after 3 years.

    But if you want to throw away $25,000 go right ahead. At least one Cuban family will benefit from your naivety.

  5. Ok, Cuba Liar, just for fun, I’ll play the role of your defense attorney when you are arrested for funneling money to secret partners in Cuba to illegally buy a house there (assuming you are even afforded an attorney when you are arrested.)

    Based on what you’ve written, here’s your argument in defense: You illegally bought that property in Cuba, knowing full well it was “forbidden” for you to do that. But you thought it might be okay because (1) it is legal to send money to Cuba since people living in Miami who have relatives in Cuba do it; (2) you trust your partners with your life and you’d like them to visit you in Canada someday; (3) you don’t intend to live in the house full-time, just 2 or 3 months in the winter; (4) you want to let your Cuban partners live in the house the rest of the year, when you and your spouse are not there; and (5) where else can you get such a great deal on a 3 bedroom house within walking distance to the beach?

    Therefore, you should be excused from the prohibition against foreigners buying property, such as houses, in Cuba.

    I’m not a Cuban lawyer, but I don’t have much confidence in your case. Your first problem is that ignorance of the law (or, in your case, ignorance in general) is no defense, which seems to be your underlying strategy. Dissuade yourself of that right away.

    Your second problem is that you are a hypocrite. This has been explained to you endlessly, so I won’t go over that ground anymore.

  6. Cuba Libre said: “…Cubans live happy healthy lives contrary to most capitalist countries.”

    C.L.!! YOU ALWAYS GIVE ME THE BEST INTRODUCTIONS!!

    YOUTUBE : Documentary : ” Cuba y los Elefantes ” (Cuba and the Elefants) – Versión completa- Complete film (with English sub-titles)- A look at Cuba, in reality beyond its tourist attractions. A documentary that takes us to reflect on the achievements of the socialist system and proclaim what the Cuban people really live. A production of the Political Institute for Freedom Peru

    Una mirada a Cuba, a su realidad más allá de sus atractivos turísticos. Un documental que nos lleva a reflexionar sobre los logros que se pregonan del sistema socialista y lo que verdaderamente vive el pueblo cubano. Una producción del Instituto Político para la Libertad Perú

  7. Never been to Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador, and neither am I attracted to those places. I have been to Cuba on several occasions though and it suits me just well. And contrary to common belief, not all Cubans are con artists. Most are honest peace loving people with a joy for living and having fun that I have seldomly seen anywhere in Canada or the US.

  8. I suppose that thousands have died trying to flee the island prison because socialism works so well.

    And Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are three places that one can buy a 3 bedroom home close to the beach for $25,000.00. I’m sure there are more places, if one is willing to search.

    You claim that you’ve met this Cuban couple a few times, and that they are coming to stay with you for a few weeks, and you make the statement that you would trust them with your life? You’re such a putz!!! This couple probably feels like they won the lottery.

  9. I believe more than ever in the Cuban revolution. It has proved itself for more than 53 years now and is still alive and kicking. While the few anticastrists in here keep trying in vain to defame the revolutionary government, most Cubans live happy healthy lives contrary to most capitalist countries. Mr. Castro your visions that socialism can and does work has proved the rest of the imperialist world wrong. Your achievements will go down in history long after we have left this world.
    And for all those who doubt my intentions of buying a house in Cuba, yes it is forbidden for me to buy a house in Cuba. But it is perfectly legal to send money to help Cubans like all the gusanos in Miami supposedly do. And for those who doubt the intentions of our Cuban friends, I would trust them with my life. I can`t wait till they come here to visit us. I do not want the house to live there full time. I want the house to go there 2 or 3 months during the winter. So instead of leaving the house empty why not leave it to them so they could benefit from it. Where else in the world can you buy a 3 bedroom house, almost completely furnished, and within walking distance to the beach for $25,000??

  10. YOUTUBE: Las calles son del pueblo- (The streets are of the people) UNPACU distributes leaflets of information abut their organization. A group of young people starts shouting DOWN WITH FIDEL, DOWN WITH RAUL, DOWN WITH THE DICTATORSHIP spontaneously. One of the CASTROFASCISTS AGENTS tries to threaten one of the dissidents with his motorcycle and then attempts to defame him with allegations of a “drug” arrest. THEN the CASTROFASCISTS send their THUGS to throw stones at them, but when they see that they are being filmed they run for cover like RATS! For more information UNPACU and their activities for the freedom of the Cuban people call: Luis Enrique Ferrer, Rep. International +1 786 553 1666 (USA) of Jose Daniel Ferrer, general coordinator in Cuba +53-53 14 67 40 – UNPACU, or Patriotic Union of Cuba, is a civil organization born within the prevailing political repression in Cuba, we advocate peacefull but firmly fight against any repression of civil liberties on the island of Cuba.
    Para mayor información sobre la UNPACU (Unión Patriótica de Cuba) y sus actividades en favor de los derechos y libertades del pueblo cubano: Jose Daniel Ferrer, Coordinador general, +53-53 14 67 40 (Cuba) Luis Enrique Ferrer, Rep. internacional, +1 786 553 1666 (USA). Si desea hablar con algún otro coordinador o activista de la UNPACU llame a Luis Enrique para que le diga como hacerlo y a que numero llamar.

  11. Fidel Castro affirmed that “Cuba will become in 2006 an energetic model for the world, from the application of new concepts in the field of power generation,… By mid of 2006 we will have more than enough electricity …. We have secured four times the electrical generation capacity that the country is going to need”, published by the Granma Newspaper on December 24, 2005. As he suggested 2006 was designate “The Year of the Energy Revolution.”

    In May 2009 Raúl Castro announced “exceptional measures” to reduce power consumption and warned that blackouts are inevitable if saving goals are not achieved.

  12. I think the silence from Cuba Liar is telling. He cannot defend illegally buying a house in Cuba or anything else he has said. Cuba Liar, you’ve crystallized everything that is wrong with the Cuban dictatorship in your brief couple of sentences, which I quote below in #8. You’re no more a believer in the so-called revolution than is that murderer castro. You and his cohorts are just looking out for yourselves; it is clear that all you care about is self-promotion and self-benefit — at the expense of others. Here is what you said — again — because it is a powerful indictment:

    “Since it is forbidden for me to buy a house in Cuba, I am arranging to buy a house in Matanzas, near Varadero with a Cuban couple we have become very friendly with. I will supply the funds and they will buy the house under their name. This way my spouse and I will be able to go there whenever we want.”

  13. Electrical energy is the most accurate indicator of the general development of an economy. Each 200 annual kilowatts hour of electricity produced is equivalent to the working capacity of a worker. In 1958 according to the records of the Cuban Electric Company, there were 732.000 subscribers, which consumed 11.8 million MW-hours per capita, per year. This ranked Cuba 25th in the world among 124 countries, and first in Latin America. The world mean average was 10 megawatts and only 29 countries were above this average.

  14. Humberto, (Griffin here, the system won’t let me post with that name, for whatever reason)

    The article is good, but it does have some errors. Fidel Castro described himself as “Certainly a Marxist, but never a Communist, if by that you mean a member of the Cuban Communist Party”…at least not until after the revolution when he had remade the Communist Party in his own image. (Raul & Che were both much closer to the Communists.)

    Fidel was ultimately a “Fidelist”, by which he took Marxism for his critique of capitalism, added a huge dose of anti-Americanism all driven by his monumental egotism. He saw in Soviet Communism a useful set of tools for solidifying his power through party, police, prisons and propaganda.

    The other error is this: the assumption that “true Marxism” is truly egalitarian. Neither the Soviet Union nor Mao’s China ever really practiced what they preached and the high party officials always lived much better than the people.

  15. EXCELENT ARTICLE! WORTH THE READ!

    THE ATLANTIC: Splendor Amid Poverty: Gallery Nights With Cuba’s Gilded Elite – Lois Farrow Parshley

    In fact, the relative paucity of resources in Cuba (and the divisions between rich and poor) was evident long before I reached the island itself. Back in the Miami airport, people pushed mountains of luggage wrapped in lime-green anti-theft plastic slowly toward the check-in desk. It would be wrong to call them bags, per se; on my flight, there were boxes labeled as medicina, tires, spare engines, 33 inch LCD TVs, fishing rods, and an electric guitar. Just getting to Cuba is “un misión” as the woman behind me in line told me, and one not taken lightly. For families still in Cuba, these American relatives can be a lifeline.

    How, you can almost hear Karl Marx asking from the grave, did an ostensibly communist country become so riven by disparity? The simplest answer may be that Fidel Castro’s struggle for power was never truly a “peasant revolution.”
    As a young man Fidel actually joined the Partido Ortodoxo, an anti-communist political party. The CIA told the U.S. Senate in 1959 that “we believe Castro is not a member of the Communist party,” and, as late as 1961 American political scientists were still arguing over his status as a communist. Castro himself repeatedly denied an affiliation throughout his rise to power; it wasn’t until after U.S. President Eisenhower refused to support Castro’s presidency that he began to develop a relationship with the Soviet Union. Although a half-century of politically charged rhetoric and rhetorically defended politics have obscured this history, Fidel Castro’s interest in politics was never really Marxist.

    Before taking power, Fidel referred to nationalization as a “cumbersome instrument,” and pledged to not nationalize the sugar industry. He even wrote in Coronet Magazine in 1958 that he was fighting for a “genuine representative government.” But after taking power, it didn’t take long for Castro to change his tune. Immediately after U.S.-backed President Fulgencio Batista fled, Fidel, apparently worried about consolidating his position, arrested some of his most important former comrades-in-arms. Castro’s former brother-in-law, Raphael Diaz Balart, said of Castro’s motivations at the time: “He was just in that moment an opportunist leader who wanted to promote himself.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE AND PICTURES!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/splendor-amid-poverty-gallery-nights-with-cubas-gilded-elite/261956/#slide7

  16. Bluey, re #16,

    Yes, CL, who dreams of licking Castro’s boots and heaps lavish praise upon the Communist regime, is perfectly willing to casually break several Cuban laws and buy a house in Cuba. We shouldn’t be surprised at either his hypocrisy or his stupidity.

  17. FOX NEWS LATINO: Cuban dissident Jorge Cervants ends hunger strike in jail!

    Cuban dissident Jorge Cervantes, who has been in police custody since Aug. 22, ended the hunger strike he has been pursuing for 13 days to demand his release, his mother told Efe on Tuesday.

    “The family asked him for the favor of suspending the (hunger) strike because he would be one more casualty,” Alba Verdecia said by telephone from her house in Las Tunas, 690 kilometers (428 miles) east of Havana.

    Verdecia said she and Jorge’s wife, Kenia Leguen, met with her son on Tuesday morning at the provincial hospital in Las Tunas, where he was admitted last Wednesday.

    “As a mother, I was very disturbed and nervous. He has done several (hunger) strikes and his organs are deteriorating. At our request, we insisted so much, and so he stopped it, although he didn’t want to do so,” she added.

    “We saw him drink a juice about 10 in the morning, and we brought his children to him. Nobody (in the family) had seen him up to today,” she said.

    Verdecia said authorities told her that “each day (Cervantes) could be visited by relatives and they told us that we would have to promise that other people besides ourselves would not visit him.”

    Cervantes, 42, was arrested while participating in activities undertaken by the Patriotic Union of Cuba dissident group.

    In a report released Tuesday, the opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation said it had registered at least 521 arbitrary arrests for political reasons during August, which is more than double the number documented during the same month last year.

    The Cuban government takes the position that dissidents are counterrevolutionaries and “mercenaries” in the service of the United States. EFE

    latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/09/04/cuban-dissident-ends-hunger-strike/

  18. OVER 2000 VIEWS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS OF YOANI’S VIDEO THAT I POSTED ON COMMENT #11!! NOT BAD STATISTICS FOR HER BIRTHDAY! JE JE JE!

  19. FELIZ CUMPLE A LAS FLACA MAS BELLA! I CON COJ*NES! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR YOA! NOW EVERYBODY SING! INCLUDING YOU C.L., Damir, EVERYBODY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR YOANI!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! THE SPANISH CELEBRATION ON THE LINK BELOW!

    YOUTUBE: Willie Chirino – “Tu Cumpleaños”

    Yoani Maria Sánchez Cordero (born September 4, 1975) is a Cuban blogger who has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government.
    Sanchez attended primary school during the affluent time when the Soviet Union was providing considerable aid to Cuba. However, her high school and university education coincided with the loss of financial aid to Cuba following the Soviet Union’s collapse, creating a highly public educational system and style of living that subsequently left Sanchez with a strong need for personal privacy. Sanchez’s university education left her with two understandings; first, that she had acquired a disgust for “high culture”, and second that she no longer had an interest in philology, her chosen field of university study.Sánchez, disillusioned with her home country, left Cuba for Switzerland in 2002, and it was during this time that she became interested in computer science. When she finally returned to Cuba, Sanchez helped to establish Contodos, a magazine that continues to act as a forum for Cuban free expression, and a vehicle for reporting news. Sánchez is best known for her blog, Generación Y (Generation Y); which, despite censorship in Cuba, she is able to publish by e-mailing the blog entries to friends outside the country who then post them online. The blog is translated and available in 17 languages.Time magazine listed her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2008, stating that “under the nose of a regime that has never tolerated dissent, Sánchez has practiced what paper-bound journalists in her country cannot; freedom of speech”.[1] In November 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, wrote that her blog “provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba” and applauded her efforts to “empower fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology.”[2]

  20. EXCELLENT ARTICLE BY Nick Miroff, WHO SOMETIMES IS NOT AS THOROUGH IN OTHER CUBA STORIES THAT I’VE READ!

    GLOBAL POST: Cuba -“To get rich is inglorious” – Nick Miroff

    The 81-year-old Castro made a rare trip abroad to visit China and Vietnam in July, adding to speculation that Cuba is eager to adopt the development model charted by Asia’s business-friendly communists.

    But Cuba doesn’t even come close to emulating those countries, said University of Havana economist Julio Diaz Vazquez, who was educated in the Soviet Union and now studies contemporary China and Vietnam.

    In Cuba, “there is an acknowledgement that we have to fix the basic structure of our economy,” said Diaz Vazquez. “But the mentality of the old model is still present: How do we keep [entrepreneurs] under control?”

    Three years after Castro announced the reforms — “updates” is the official euphuism — Cuba has taken significant steps toward creating a larger role for private business.

    Nearly 400,000 Cubans now possess self-employment licenses that allow them to work independently. The government has attempted to boost food production by leasing nearly 3 million acres of state-owned land to private farmers and independent cooperatives on a no-cost, long-term basis. Thousands of little snack bars and restaurants have transformed the physical appearance of Cuba’s cities and towns. Cubans can buy and sell their homes and apartments for the first time in a half-century.

    All of these measures, and others, have brought significant change and subtle shifts in the way Cubans perceive their opportunities and their relationship to the government.

    But in other, fundamental ways, Cuba’s Communist Party leaders and the massive government bureaucracy below them remain stuck in the Soviet-era dogmas that China and Vietnam disposed of decades ago.

    The main difference, according economists like Diaz Vazquez, is that China and Vietnam follow a high-productivity model in which the state encourages, rather than impedes, the country’s entrepreneurs and professionals. Torrents of foreign investment and booming exports have made those countries global economic players, raising living standards and providing political stability. While the state steps in to moderate the inequalities that result, it does not view individual prosperity with suspicion.

    In contrast, Cuban authorities are a long way from endorsing the Deng Xiaoping maxim “to get rich is glorious.” Making money in Cuba is still essentially viewed as a crime, as some hapless entrepreneurs have recently discovered.

    Raul Castro’s reforms, Diaz Vazquez said, continue to be weighed down by an old model that keeps entrepreneurs on a tight leash and says: “You can start a business, but I can take it away from you at any time.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/120830/cuba-get-rich-inglorious

  21. Did I read that correctly, Cuba Liar is planning on buying a house in Cuba by giving the money to a Cuban family he’s “become friendly with”? Good luck with that CL, you may be in for a big surprise.

    I recommend you pick up a copy of Havana Noir, a collection of short stories by various Cuban writers. Check out the story, “Zenzizenzic”, by Achy Obejas. You will be surprised to discover: you’re in the story!

    It concerns a Cuban family and their “pet foreigner”, an American lefty who wears Che t-shirts, spouts Fidel’s slogans and brings them lots of food and other things hard to come buy in the “Socialist paradise”. The Pet Foreigner thinks of the Cuban family as his dear comrades. The Cuban family can’t stand him, but they put up with him. I don’t want to spoil the story, but in the end, it doesn’t turn out so well for the naive American.

    http://www.books.google.ca/books?id=YUwiFGX2yvkC&pg=PT154&lpg=PT154&dq=Cuba+%22pet+foreigner%22&source=bl&ots=TbXwM9pS-0&sig=1r2raNXCxrvVtOqe1MSpVeFY2IM&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Cuba%20%22pet%20foreigner%22&f=false

  22. THE MAIN $1 BILLION REASON FOR THE HIKE IN IMPORT TAXES BY THE CASTROFASCISTS!

    N.Y. TIMES: Cuba Hits Wall in 2-Year Push to Expand the Private Sector – By VICTORIA BURNETT

    As the private sector has grown, so has the deluge of goods brought to Cuba each day in suitcases and duffel bags, principally from Panama, Ecuador, the United States and Spain. With no access to a wholesale market, Cubans turn to friends, relatives and so-called mules for everything from food to trinkets to iPhones. This parallel trade has ballooned to more than $1 billion per year, Mr. Morales estimates, since the Obama administration began loosening of restrictions on travel and remittances in 2009.

    Yunilka Barrios, who sells sunglasses, hairbands, nail polish and glittery bra straps from a grimy, narrow doorway, was alarmed by the prospect of a 100 percent tax on informal imports that the government indicated would go into effect in September. “Things seem to be tightening up,” she said.

    Economists, businesspeople and diplomats believe President Raúl Castro is treading carefully because of resistance from midlevel functionaries reluctant to lose their perks, and from conservative officials nervous about the social and political impact of economic enfranchisement.

    The Cuban leader, who has sworn off the “shock therapies” that ruptured the Soviet Union, said in a speech in December that the government would proceed “without hurry or improvisation, working to overcome the old dogmatic mind-set and correcting any mistakes in a timely fashion.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/17/world/americas/economists-question-cubas-commitment-to-privatizing-businesses.html?pagewanted=all

  23. RECENT INTERVIEW OF OUR YOANI! HER WIT AND SARCASM IN FULL DISPLAY! SPANISH ONLY,

    YOUTUBE:Yoani Sanchez has a very peculiar passport – Yoani Sanchez describes and displays visas she has received to enter different countries without success because the Cuban government has denied her permission to leave her own country in every opportunity.
    Yoani Sánchez y un pasaporte muy peculiar – Yoani Sánchez describe y muestra todos los visados que ha recibido para poder ingresar a diferentes países del mundo sin éxito ya que el gobierno cubano le ha denegado su permiso de salida en todas las oportunidades.

  24. Since he would be overlooking Revolution Plaza, he could just bow down every morning from his own apartment, LOL.

  25. In the last thread at #25, Cuba Liar wrote:

    “Since it is forbidden for me to buy a house in Cuba, I am arranging to buy a house in Matanzas, near Varadero with a Cuban couple we have become very friendly with. I will supply the funds and they will buy the house under their name. This way my spouse and I will be able to go there whenever we want.”

    When you illegally buy that property in Cuba with your secret partners, who’s going to be in charge of paying the utility bills? Do you plan on installing solar panels so you are self-sufficient? Or is your plan to go with geothermal energy? Maybe you’re thinking about wind energy? If you spend most of your time in Canada, will you be sending cash to your partners so they can pay those bills? You still haven’t answered how you are getting money to Cuba to close the deal. A suitcase full of cash might be risky with all the new taxes at the airport. Your scheme sounds, well, half-baked, Cuba Liar.

  26. THE CASTROFASCISTS OLIGARCHY MAFIA, WITH THEIR DOUBLE CURRENCY AND EXTORTION RACKETS, MILKING THE CUBANS IN THE DIASPORA WHO SEND MONEY AND SUPPLIES TO THEIR RELATIVES SO THEY CAN SURVIVE AND MAYBE HELP THEIR TIMBIRICHE BUSINESSES! PATHETIC AND TRANSPARENT IN THEIR METHODS!

    ABC NEWS: Travelers Staggered by Cuba’s New Customs Taxes – By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ
    A steep hike in customs duties took effect in Cuba on Monday, catching many air travelers unaware and leaving some shocked at the new fees.

    Nelida Diaz, a Cuban-American who arrived with her husband for a visit to the island where she was born, said she was astonished when officials docked her $588 at customs.

    Authorities have defended the measure as necessary to impose order in airports, which at times can look more like cargo terminals for all the baggage.

    Experts say the measure targets so-called mules, who make frequent trips back and forth to places like Ecuador, Panama and Miami, carrying huge bags overstuffed with merchandise destined for resale or to supply the island’s growing ranks of private entrepreneurs.

    But some fear it could also hurt Cuban families that rely on goods imported five suitcases at a time, as well as the many islanders who are able to visit relatives abroad by agreeing to bring back heavy loads for others who pay the airfare.

    Travelers are allowed to bring in 66 pounds (30 kilograms) of miscellaneous goods without being charged. Everything after that gets taxed at $4.55 a pound ($10 per kilogram).

    Islanders get a once-a-year pass to pay excess baggage fees in the local peso, worth 24 to the dollar, but starting with their second trip they must pay the much higher dollar-based rates. Anyone who’s not a permanent resident pays the higher rate from the start.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/travelers-staggered-cubas-customs-taxes-17143452#.UEVZn5bFWSo

  27. @Cuba Libre — Cubans are not given free appliances. They are, instead, often REQUIRED to accept them (for example the great refrigerator substitution when old reliable american fridges were traded out for new Chinese fridges that constantly break) and then they must pay for them on the installment plan.

    As, obviously, many of them are not able to make the payments for these “energy saving” appliances, they get ever more in arrears and their debt piles up and it’s one more “black mark” against them. You can read about this in various blog posts as several of the bloggers have talked about it. Go to “TranslatingCuba.com”.

  28. Henny Penny the Sky is not falling and believe it or not the glass in most peoples eyes is half full not half empty!!!!!!!!!! Wake up and smell the roses.

  29. Wouldn’t electricity be one of the “needs” that is taken care of? Or is that a luxury too?

  30. Well, of course one would expect free electricity in a place that, as you claim CL, all of one needs are taken care of “by the government.” So, which is it?

    I guess when one has to spend 80% of their retirement money on the energy bill in Cuba, clearly something is wrong.

  31. And what did you expect, free electricity?? Here if I want a rice cooker I have to buy it, its not given to me like it is to you. Everywhere else in the world the price of electricity is expensive. Figure this one out, I pay more for electricity, in a province that is the biggest producer of electricity in the world, than a person living in New York, who believe it or not lives in a State that buys most of its electricity from here. Hooray for capitalism.

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