Two Currencies, Two Realities

The lady counts the coins before leaving home: she has fifty-five cents in convertible pesos. It is the equivalent of a full day’s pay and barely fills a corner of her pocket. She already knows what she is going to buy… the same as always. She has enough for two chicken bouillon cubes and a bar of bath soap. So eight hours work is just enough to flavor some rice and work up a few suds in the bathroom. She belongs to that Cuba that still calculates every price in national currency — the Cuban peso — a part of the country that doesn’t receive remittances, has no special privileges, no family abroad, no private businesses, nothing going on under the table.

Just before arriving at the store to buy her Maggi cubes, she stops to stare at those drinking beer at a snack bar. Every can of this refreshing drink is the equivalent of two days’ pay. However the place is full, packed with couples and groups of men who talk loudly, drink, try some of the food. It is the other Cuba, with hard currency, with relatives abroad, with their own businesses or some other illicit source of income. The abyss between the two is so great, the divide so major, they seem to be running in parallel, never touching. They have their own fears, different dreams.

When the beginning of a timeline to eradicate the dual currency was announced this week, the two countries that converge on this Island reacted differently. The Cuba that lives only on its miserable wages felt that finally they had started to put an end date to an injustice. They are those who cannot even have a photo taken on their birthday, pay for a collective taxi, nor imagine themselves traveling anywhere. For them, any process of unifying the currencies can only bring hope, because it couldn’t be any worse than it is now. The other country, in convertible pesos, received the news with great caution. How will the exchange rate change relative to the dollar or the euro? How much will the buying power of those who live better today be devalued? Their thoughts were pragmatic.

In a society where the social abyss is increasingly unfathomable and economic inequalities grow, no measure helps everybody, no relaxation will make life better for each person. Twenty years of monetary schizophrenia have also created two hemispheres, two worlds. It remains to be seen whether a simple change of banknotes can bring closer these two countries that comprise our reality, these two dimensions. If it can make it so that the lady who — almost always — eats rice flavored with a little soup cube, can one day sit down in a snack bar and order a beer.

The post Dos monedas, dos realidades appeared first on Generación Y – Yoani Sánchez by

26 October 2013

229 thoughts on “Two Currencies, Two Realities

  1. WOW! UNBELIEVABLE! CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE AND PICTURES OF THE ARTWORK! THIS IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND IT’S HAPPENING WITH CUBA’S CULTURAL ART HERITAGE TODAY! SOLD TO ANYONE WILLING TO PAY THE CASTROFASCIST’S PRICE! BUT SOME DAY THIS STORY WILL REPEAT ITSELF AND WE WILL GET JUSTICE! NAZIS AND CASTROFASCISTS ARE BOTH FASCIST THIEVES!

    AFP: ‘Nazi art trove’ includes unknown Chagall treasure – by Ralf Isermann
    Augsburg — Previously unknown masterpieces by modernist painters Marc Chagall and Otto Dix are among a vast trove of works believed stolen by the Nazis and uncovered in a Munich flat, an art historian said Tuesday. Breaking two days of silence following the revelation of the spectacular discovery, Meike Hoffmann, the chief expert aiding the investigation, said the Chagall painting, an allegorical scene dating from the mid-1920s, had a “particularly high art-historical value”. The Dix work is a rare self-portrait probably painted in 1919, she added. Hoffmann showed slides of the paintings, which also include works by Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri Matisse, at a news conference in the southern city of Augsburg where the German authorities shed light on the extraordinary find in the apartment of an eccentric elderly loner. The man, identified as Cornelius Gurlitt, is the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a prominent Nazi-era art dealer who acquired the paintings in the 1930s and 1940s.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gzC36EntpZFH86sRkpXpwHj04Ung?docId=2609c367-ca39-49ac-a064-f9a0caa6466f

  2. HUMBY!!
    I don’t recall ever stating that Cuba is a ‘paradise’.
    And I have no idea what Mr Potts’ intentions are.
    I’d never heard of him until today.
    All I have to go on is what he says after reading the article you pasted.
    I don’t see anything in this article which backs up your viewpoints.
    I know many Cubans who now live in the USA.
    I know many Cubans with no intention of living anywhere other than Cuba.
    I’ve met various non Cubans living in Cuba (including people from the USA) etc etc etc…

    I wish all the very best of health and happiness to Mr Potts wherever he chooses to live.
    I hope he doesn’t go back to hijacking planes.

    And I would think you could come up with something a bit better to back up your arguments Humby.

    And there’s me not long ago telling Freud and Sandokan that Humbys the champion copy and paster on here!!
    C’mon Humby, don’t let me down after I’ve bigged you up.

  3. Humberto,

    What’s worse is the guy never did any real jail time in Cuba. Just part of the Castro scam machine.

    The few hijackers who were locked up were put in Cuba’s version of country club cells or house arrest, or house arrest during certain hours.

    Or no lock-up at all. We just have Castro’s word that he lived up to the agreement, and we know how honest he is.

    Mr. Potts and other terrorists have privileges in Cuba, like nice apartments, imported food, high-speed internet and other goodies, unavailable to 99% of Cubans.

    And they still complain how tough life is in Cuba.

    Can you imagine what Cuba is like for the bottom 10 % !!!

  4. HMMM Nick !! IF CUBA IS SUCH A “PARADISE” WHY WOULD William Potts WANT TO COME BACK TO THE BAD OLD U.S.A.?? IF YOU LOOK HIM UP ON GOOGLE IMAGES YOU WILL SEE HIM HOLDING A SIGN SAYING HOW “RACIST” THE BAD OLD U.S.A. IS?? DOES THAT MAKE SENSE TO YOU?? IT DOES NOT COMPUTE WITH ME! MAYBE THIS LINKE MIGHT WORK FOR THE IMAGE DEAR!

    “I’m a permanent resident in Cuba, and just as soon as I finish taking care of this business in the United States, I certainly have every intention of returning to Cuba to live,” he said. “I’m here. … I’ve lived like half my life here in Cuba now, and my future interests and the things that I want to do are located here in Cuba.” ”

  5. Personally I couldn’t care one bit where Mr Potts wants to live.
    He apparently spent 13 years in jail in Cuba for ‘air piracy’.
    You do the crime, you do the time etc….

    But it strikes me that Dear Old HUMBY! gets in such a fluster with all this frenzied copying and pasting that he doesn’t even read the articles first:

    This Mr Potts seems to be saying the opposite of what Humby says he’s saying.
    Either Humbys being a bit of a dumby…
    ….or Humby knows Mr Potts’ mind better than Mr Potts does.

    This is what your abc news article says Humby:

    “In recent weeks Potts has been working with U.S. Interests Section officials to get a passport to travel back to the United States. Nevertheless, he said his future remains in Havana.

    “I’m a permanent resident in Cuba, and just as soon as I finish taking care of this business in the United States, I certainly have every intention of returning to Cuba to live,” he said. “I’m here. … I’ve lived like half my life here in Cuba now, and my future interests and the things that I want to do are located here in Cuba.” ”

    Or maybe the whole thing is some big double bluff???
    It certainly seems to have got Humby confused.
    But then again…
    …how difficult is that??

  6. GUESS SERVING TIME IN THE BAD OLD U.S.A. JAILS IS BETTER THAN LIVING LIKE AN ORDINARY CUBAN CITIZEN IN CUBA! OR SHOULD I SAY, SERVING TIME IN THE BAD OLD U.S.A. JAILS IS BETTER THAN LIVING IN THE CASTROFASCISTS VERSION OF ALCATRAZ!! THIS GUY IS GOING TO KISS AMERICAN SOIL AS SOON AS HE GETS OFF THAT PLANE! QUESTION IS, WHY NOT GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY IF THE BAD OLD U.S.A. IS SOOO BAD AND RACISTS?? YOU TELL ME!!

    ABC NEWS: US Hijacker in Cuba Headed Home After 3 Decades – by Peter Orsi – November 5, 2013

    An American fugitive hijacker said Tuesday he is going home to face justice nearly three decades after he commandeered a plane, flew to Cuba and was thrown behind bars rather than greeted as a fellow revolutionary.

    William Potts said U.S. diplomats in Havana contacted him earlier in the day to report that his travel arrangements were made and he could leave on a charter flight to Miami on Wednesday morning, accompanied by American officials.

    “As I understand it when I land in Miami the federal escorts will turn me over to U.S. marshals, and what happens after that I couldn’t tell you,” Potts told The Associated Press by phone from his home in Havana. “I hope to be arraigned soon.”

    A spokeswoman for the U.S. Interests Section said the diplomatic mission did not have any immediate comment on Potts’ case. Cuban officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Potts, now 56, was a young man in 1984 when he pulled a gun hidden in a plaster cast and hijacked a commercial flight headed from New Jersey to Florida. He ordered it to the Communist-run island, where he expected that Cuba would offer him guerrilla training.

    Instead, authorities convicted him of air piracy and jailed him for more than 13 years.

    On Tuesday, Potts said he seeks “closure” by facing U.S. legal authorities. He argued that the time he served in the Combinado del Este prison outside Havana should mitigate further punishment in the United States, but acknowledged there’s no guarantee.

    “I’m ready for whatever,” Potts said. “My position is, of course, I did the crime and I did the time, and the United States has to recognize that.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-hijacker-cuba-headed-home-decades-20793863

  7. HEY Marabu, Nick AND EVEN OUR DEAR Francisco WHO IS ON SABBATICAL! CAN ANY OF YOU FORWARD THIS TO THE CASTROFASCISTS AND SEE IF THEIR “EGALETARIAN” WAYS CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN IN CUBA? HECK, I WOULD SETTLE FOR THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA JUST TALK ABOUT IT!!

    FOX NEWS L.A.: Los Angeles Looking to Offer Free WiFi to Residents – by Hunter Lowry

    The Los Angeles City Council unanimously agreed today to seek out a vendor to provide free wireless Internet service to Angelenos.

    The council voted 13-0 to start a bidding process to attract companies to set up free WiFi while ensuring the city does not “significantly influence” private Internet carrier competition.

    Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who proposed the motion, said citywide WiFi would “bridge the digital divide,” allowing those who cannot afford internet connection to get online, as well as generate economic activity for the city.

    Blumenfield acknowledged the logistical and financial “hurdles” of the plan, but said the RFP should ask companies to think creatively about implementing citywide WiFi.

    “Bring us your innovation. Look at the city’s assets. No deal is too small. We want to look at a big vision,” he said. “We want to partner with the private sector in ways that we can expand our reach, do much more than we

    could if we did this alone.”The city last tried to implement citywide WiFi in 2007 under an initiative started by then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Tony Cardenas. The city dropped the plan in 2009 after determining that the estimated $38-46 million cost to build the WiFi system would be too expensive.

    The city could also face challenges from private Internet carriers. A 2005 attempt to implement free WiFi in Philadelphia ran into legal hurdles when communications company Verizon sued, contending the municipal service displaced competition among carriers that had already invested in communications infrastructure.Verizon won the lawsuit, which led to cities in Pennsylvania being restricted to offering only free WiFi at speeds slower than the service offered by private companies.

    http://www.myfoxla.com/story/23885662/los-angeles-looking-to-offer-free-wifi-to-residents

  8. Nick,

    Some people don’t like funding terrorists, including me. US and Canadian tax money goes to Palestinian terrorists by way of the UN, and unfortunately, also directly. Palestine gets countless billions of dollars a year to wage war, the money should be going to peacemakers instead.

    Ros-Lehtinen has taken a very courageous stand. She is the target of terrorists which you support.

    I know you are in love with terrorists, as long as they are Castro’s friends. You keep supporting terrorism on this blog for some reason, and then say you are a peaceful person.

    You support the smuggling of weapons to North Korea, and support tyrants who gas children.

    You are against unions and elections in Cuba. You attack little old ladies because they carry gladiolas and dress in white.

    And you call other people “right-wing”?

    Please explain the difference between you and any other right-wing fascist lunatic.

  9. Oh No!!

    HUMBY’s posting comments from Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
    Lets bear in mind that this right wing republican campaigned against UN funding for Palestinian refugees because she describes herself as a great friend if Israel.

    Hmmmm….great friend of Israel??
    ….now why would that be???

    Wouldn’t surprise me if she had a hand in sending that poor old bumbling Alan Gross over to Cuba on a fool’s errand.

    She also has a history of campaigning on behalf of the terrorists Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles….

    Good stuff HUMBY.
    You’re C & P-ing hardline right-wing supporter of terrorism.

    Is this an example of you showing your colours now HUMBY!
    Scraping deep, deep, deeper and down to the bottom of that big old turd barrel huh!!??

    http://afrocubaweb.com/roslehtinen.htm

  10. I THINK SOME PEOPLE IN THESE COMMENT SECTIONS SHOULD TAKE NOTE OF THIS! JE JE JE!

    When asked Google Executive Chairman Eric where he wanted to travel next, he said Cuba was at the top of his list.

    Senior executives from Google and Twitter promised Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez that they would technological tools to protect the freedom of expression of Cuban civil society.

    The author of the blog Generation Y, in an interview said that with her visit to Silicon Valley in California she established serious conversations with these social media giants regarding the need for protection of Cuban activists.

    Twitter Representatives agreed to provide resources to detect fake profiles used by people in the service of the Cuban government to discredit and threaten independent journalists living in Cuba.

    http://translatingcuba.com/yoani-sanchez-says-google-and-twitter-protect-cubans-freedom-of-expression/

  11. A NICE REFLECTION BY A CUBAN CITIZEN ON THE SHUTTING DOWN OF 3-D THEATERS BY THE CASTROFASCISTS!

    HAVANA TIMES: Farewell to Cuba’s 3D Home Theaters – by Warhol P.

    On November 2, Cuba’s Granma newspaper published a press note regarding the self-employed, demanding that 3D home theaters and computer game rooms be shut down immediately and claiming such businesses were never authorized (they cut people some slack, a lot of slack, and now they’re pulling in the reins).

    These effect-packed films had begun arriving in our country some months ago and were something new to Cuba, even though they’ve been known by the rest of the world for many years now. We, the wretched of the earth, are behind in everything, and when I say everything, I mean it in capital letters: WE’RE BEHIND IN EVERYTHING.
    I thought that perhaps the authorities didn’t like the idea that the owners of these small theaters were making some money. They are opposed to that, since everyone in this country must continue to be poor. Perhaps it bothers them they weren’t the first to come up with the idea for such a business.

    What I consider shameful in this whole business is that, this late in the game, in 2013, culture authorities have made no effort to set up even one theater of this nature.

    Could it be that the Cuban people do not deserve to know what 3D cinema is? I am talking about a big-screen cinema, not a home theater with a television set – these are simple, run-of-the-mill televisions that, difficult as it may be to believe, are sold in regular stores abroad, so that people may enjoy this type of cinema at home.

    Unfortunately, many of our movie theaters are closed down and, currently, are ruined buildings abandoned to the elements, cinemas that, apparently, no one wants to restore, much less put into operation again.

    I thought that perhaps the authorities didn’t like the idea that the owners of these small theaters were making some money. They are opposed to that, since everyone in this country must continue to be poor. Perhaps it bothers them they weren’t the first to come up with the idea for such a business.

    What I consider shameful in this whole business is that, this late in the game, in 2013, culture authorities have made no effort to set up even one theater of this nature.

    Could it be that the Cuban people do not deserve to know what 3D cinema is? I am talking about a big-screen cinema, not a home theater with a television set – these are simple, run-of-the-mill televisions that, difficult as it may be to believe, are sold in regular stores abroad, so that people may enjoy this type of cinema at home.

    Unfortunately, many of our movie theaters are closed down and, currently, are ruined buildings abandoned to the elements, cinemas that, apparently, no one wants to restore, much less put into operation again.

    There are many others around the capital that will never again be what they once were, let alone house a 3D projector. The question is: why?

    Of course, one needn’t ask such things. It’s obvious the reason is the blockade, folks, nothing other than our own, self-imposed blockade.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=99830

  12. WE MUST NOT FORGET ALAN GROSS! HE IS A HOSTAGE OF THE CASTROFASCISTS!

    OFFICE OF U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Administration Must Demand Alan Gross’s Immediate & Unconditional Release And Stop Kowtowing to the Rogue Castro Regime – Nov 4, 2013

    (WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the status of Alan Gross, a U.S. citizen unjustly imprisoned since 2009. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

    “Next month will commemorate the 4th year of the unjust imprisonment of Alan Gross in Cuba. The Castro regime must release Alan immediately without any preconditions. It would be a travesty to swap one U.S. citizen unjustly jailed in Cuba for four Cuban agents who were convicted in the U.S. for trying to infiltrate our military installations with the aim of undermining our national security interests. Such a deal would dishonor the memory of the four brave Brother to the Rescue members who were killed over international waters by those acting under direct orders from the Castro brothers. The Obama Administration, and all responsible nations, must stop kowtowing to the Castro dictatorship and demand freedom on the island for Alan Gross and the rest of the 11 million people living under tyranny in Cuba.”

    “The Obama Administration, and all responsible nations, must stop kowtowing to the Castro dictatorship and demand freedom on the island for Alan Gross and the rest of the 11 million people living under tyranny in Cuba.”

    http://ros-lehtinen.house.gov/press-release/administration-must-demand-alan-gross%E2%80%99s-immediate-unconditional-release-and-stop

  13. Humberto, your post from 12:36 pm is THREE AND A HALF years old. What do you smoke today?

    The prisoners have long been released. They have been offered a chance to live in capitalism. Most didn’t like that option and staged hunger strikes on the streetes in Madrid demanding higer cash subsidies. They didn’t know that the ANTI-CASTRO FREE CUBA rants immediately lose their value once they leave the island

    Two or three killed themselves being denied a Hereo’s status and Heroe’s cash subsidies.

  14. (in reply to Humbertos pasting)

    FROM YOUR CUBAN ADVISOR:

    How to avoid trouble being a Lady?
    Dress in pink, grey, yellow, green, black, red or blue.

  15. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Cuba urged to revoke repressive laws and release prisoners of conscience- 16 March 2010

    Amnesty International on Wednesday called on the Cuban authorities to revoke laws that restrict freedom of expression, assembly and association and to release all dissidents unfairly detained by the authorities. The organization also urged President Raúl Castro to allow independent monitoring of the human rights situation in Cuba by inviting UN experts to visit the country and by facilitating monitoring by other human rights groups.
    “Cuban laws impose unacceptable limits on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly,” said Kerrie Howard, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International. “Cuba desperately needs political and legal reform to bring the country in line with basic international human rights standards.

    “The long imprisonment of individuals solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights is not only a tragedy in itself but also constitutes a stumbling block to other reforms, including the beginning of the dialogue needed for the lifting of the US unilateral embargo against Cuba.”

    Several articles of the Cuban Constitution and Criminal Code are so vague that they are currently being interpreted in a way that infringes fundamental freedoms.

    Article 91 of Cuba’s Criminal Code provides for sentences of ten to 20 years or death for anyone “who in the interest of a foreign state, commits an act with the objective of damaging the independence or territorial integrity of the Cuban state”.

    According to article 72 “any person shall be deemed dangerous if he or she has shown a proclivity to commit crimes demonstrated by conduct that is in manifest contradiction with the norms of socialist morality” and article 75.1 states that any police officer can issue a warning for such “dangerousness”. The declaration of a dangerous pre-criminal state can be decided summarily. A warning may also be issued for associating with a “dangerous person”.

    Law 88 provides for seven to 15 years’ imprisonment for passing information to the United States that could be used to bolster anti-Cuban measures, such as the US economic blockade. The legislation also bans the ownership, distribution or reproduction of “subversive materials” from the US government, and proposes terms of imprisonment of up to five years for collaborating with radio, TV stations or publications deemed to be assisting US policy.

    Local non-governmental organizations have great difficulty in reporting on human rights violations due to restrictions on their rights to freedom of expression, association and movement. International independent human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, are not allowed to visit the island.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/cuba-urged-revoke-repressive-laws-and-release-prisoners-conscience-2010-03-17

  16. WOMEN WITH FLOWERS DRESSED IN WHITE BRING FEAR TO THE CASTROFASCISTS EVERY WEEK! SOME MACHOS THEY ARE!
    MIAMI HERALD: Nearly 30 Cuban dissidents were detained over the weekend – by Juan Tamayo

    Cuban security officials detained nearly 30 members of the dissident Ladies in White while a government-backed mob twice pummeled and kicked a top opposition leader in yet another weekend crackdown on pro-democracy activists.

    Guillermo Fariñas, one of the country’s best known dissidents, said he suffered half a dozen bruises in the attacks Sunday as he twice approached a police station in his hometown of Santa Clara to file a complaint against the arrests of 11 Ladies in White.

    A government-organized mob of 120-130 people blocked the street and about 40 punched and kicked him, Fariñas said. He went home to change his bloody clothes after the first pummeling but returned and was attacked again in front of the station.

    Police officers drove him to a local hospital where he was treated for a cut on his head and afterward promised him that he would be able to return to the police station and file his complaint, Fariñas told El Nuevo Herald by phone from Santa Clara.

    On the third attempt he filed the complaint, that 11 Ladies in White had been illegally detained in Santa Clara as they walked alone or in pairs to Sunday mass at the Divina Pastora church, since Cuban law only bans unauthorized groups of three or more, he said.

    Fariñas, winner of the European Parliament’s 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience, said he recognized some of the people who beat him up as sports trainers and nurses waiting for profitable but government-controlled job assignments abroad.

    “These people are being blackmailed to hand out punches,” said Fariñas, who serves as spokesman for the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU), one of the most active pro-democracy groups on the island.

    The 11 Ladies in White detained in Santa Clara on Sunday were among the 47 rounded up in central Cuba over the weekend as police again broke up the women’s efforts to establish their right to stage public protests after mass.

    About 85 women dressed in white and carrying gladiolas marched in Havana without incident Sunday after mass at the Santa Rita church — a street protest tolerated by the government after complaints of indecent harassments by government mobs in 2010.

    But police have cracked down on Ladies in White members who tried to extend those protests outside Havana — first in eastern Santiago de Cuba province and more recently in central Matanzas and Villa Clara provinces.

    Sixteen women were detained Sunday before and after mass in the Matanzas cities of Cardenas and Colon, according to reports from dissidents in the area. One, Leticia Ramos, was taken to a hospital complaining of a back injury suffered during her arrest.

    Three other Ladies in White and 20 activists in other dissident organizations were also detained Sunday in separate round ups around the province of Havana, according to a report by dissident Marta Beatriz Roque.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/04/3731494/nearly-30-cuban-dissidents-were.html

  17. Pingback: Yoani Sánchez – Generation Y | Activism Creative

  18. Comrade Marabu,

    If you prefer comparing Cuba to its Caribbean neighbors, Cuba is still worse off than most of them. A lot worse off.

    I can prove it, no rafts ever come towards Cuba. Even Haitian boat people avoid Cuba like the plague. Haitians prefer working in the Dominican Republic, even with all their poor treatment there.

    The only people who enjoy Cuba’s socialism are wealthy armchair socialists who come and “rough it” with the Cuban 1%.

  19. Focus Comrade Marabu,

    Focus.

    You said a cheap ballet performance changes a Cuban’s salary.

    No it doesn’t, and most Cubans don’t go see the ballet. They go around trying to find something to eat with their 10 to 20 dollars a month.

    And you don’t praise Haiti for providing cheap ballet tickets, do you?

    Get it?

    10 to 20 dollars a month if you have a job.

    If you don’t, 0 dollars a month.

    That’s what Cubans live on.

    Of course the ones who actually eat more than 5 times a month live on our capitalist generosity.

    Whether we send them money from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Canada or the USA. It is all capitalist money and that’s how Cubans survive.

  20. It appears some Canadians are boasting: they are doing better then the Third World… and it is true. It is good to be a patriot and even a little biased. If he would write it on a German or Japanese forum I could only say: good for you, great to have free symphony tickets.

    On a cuban forum though its is just stupid. Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic will remain Third World countries: with Castro dead or alive. Over there, an affordable concert ticket is an achievment.

  21. Marabu,

    We get a lot of free concerts in Canada. Saw the symphony for free one day. Also a lot of free films, free art, and free food. Even free museums sometimes. We get a LOT more freebies in Canada than in Cuba.

    None of it changes my salary.

    The average salary in Cuba is between 10 and 20 dollars a month. A hungry Cuban would rather buy a cucumber with his last pesos than see the ballet. If they can even find a cucumber.

    And since you know so much about Cuba, you know that the concert halls are almost always empty.

    As you were comrade, keep up the trolling. You deserve your hero of socialist labor medal.

  22. Someone is making wild comparisons of Cuba with East Germany or China.
    I have mistaken a banana for a cucumber one day and it was no good.

    Cuba should be compared to its closest natural neighbors: the Caribbean!

  23. Comparing the economies of East Germany a socialist dictatorship and West Germany a democratic country, we can see that meanwhile the west decentralized economy flourished, the growth of the East central planned economy slowdown considerable, creating hard times for the population. In the case of North Korea and South Korea economies, the South has a market oriented economy which has led to a dramatic economic growth and improvement of the standard of leaving of the people, and the North a totalitarian central planned economy with ownership of all production, which led to economic failure causing severe food-shortages and the death of many people from mass starvation.

    It is evident that central planned economy and state ownership of means of production lead to total failure and create severe hardships for the people.

  24. “WE HAVE A RIGHT TO TAKE A BREAK”! YOU GOT TO LOVE THAT COMMUNIST LINE! THEY BETTER GET USED TO THE PAPARAZZI!! JE JE JE!
    PHOTOS FROM THE TERRORIST/COMMUNISTS IN CUBA FROM THE F.A.R.C.! THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO PARTY!! OH, WAIT THEY ARE WITH THE POOR AND OPPRESSED! HYPOCRITES!
    HAVANA, CUBA – The FARC responded to a photo revealed Sunday of three guerrilla negotiators enjoying themselves on a catamaran off the Cuban coast, saying Monday they have the right to take a break.
    A photo of senior Rebel Commanders Ivan Marquez, Jesus Santrich, and a woman who appears to be Dutch national Tanja Nijmeijer on a luxury boat smoking cigars spurred controversy after it was Tweeted by right-wing former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe. “The photo is really nice,” said FARC negotiator Rodrigo Granda at a press conference in Havana Monday. “It looks to me like a tranquil moment for the guerrillas, who have the right to take a break, no one can deny that,” Granda said. “We are on an island full of beaches, sun and sea, and the FARC guerrillas have been working until the wee hours of the morning.” He also called it a “minor episode” and criticized the media for its focus on the image, adding that the photo was taken months ago. “We are working very hard and continue to advance,” Granda said. The FARC and the Colombian government have been locked in peace negotiations for nearly a year, seeking to end the internal conflict largest continent and has left more than 200,000 dead and millions displaced . Former president Uribe, a harsh critical peace negotiations, published the photograph on his Twitter account, with the message, “FARC terrorists in Havana, while in Colombia they do mass kidnappings. The leftist Colombian Congressman Ivan Cepeda downplayed the issue and said it is important that both parties reach an agreement.
    FARC is considered a terrorist organization by the Government of Colombia. The FARC–EP claim to be a peasant army with a political platform of agrarianism and anti-imperialism inspired by Bolivarianism.
    The FARC say they represent the poor people of rural Colombia against:
    the economic depredations of the ruling bourgeoisie; the political influence of the U.S. in the internal affairs of Colombia (i.e. Plan Colombia);neo-imperialism, the monopolization of natural resources by multinational corporations and the repressive violence from Colombian state and paramilitary forces against the civilian population.
    http://www.ntn24.com/noticias/we-have-right-take-break-farc-negotiators-cuba-say-111656

  25. BASEBALL PLAYERS, DANCERS, DOCTORS! THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH THE CATROFASCISTS AND THEIR FRIENDS LIKE ALICIA ALONSO! CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL! JUST GO TO THE BALLET NACIONAL DE CUBA WEB SITE AND YOU WILL SEE THAT IT REALLY IS THE WEB SITE FOR THE MOMIA ALICIA! JUST PHOTOS OF HER, AND HER, AND HER! HI Nick! Hi Marabu!! HUGE!!!!!!! GUSANO HUGS AND KISSES FOR BOTH OF YOU! AND SPECIALLY Francisco Nejdanov Solomin SINCE IM HIS “DUMBERT”! LOVE YA FRANCIS!!!

    N.Y. TIMES: Defectors Land on Their Feet – Defectors From Cuba’s National Ballet Land on Their Feet – by Larry Rohter

    PHOENIX — Cuba takes special measures to hold on to one of its most precious cultural resources: ballet dancers. To discourage defections, authorities sometimes keep talented performers from touring or warn younger artists that finding a ballet job will be tough in an unappreciative capitalist world.

    But that did not discourage seven members of the premier company, the National Ballet of Cuba, who arrived in the United States this spring. And in a remarkable success story, all of them have landed positions, including the all-too-perfect case of Arianni Martin: This month, she has been dancing the title role in Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” with Ballet Arizona here.

    Barely six months ago, Ms. Martin, 21, and six other dancers, including her boyfriend, Randy Crespo, defected from the National Ballet while it was on tour in Mexico. The group arrived in Miami in April with no jobs, no money and no real knowledge of American life or command of colloquial English.

    “We knew we were leaving everything behind, and we didn’t know what awaited us,” Ms. Martin said last week while she and her new colleagues at Ballet Arizona were on a break from rehearsals of “Cinderella,” whose last performance was Sunday. “But we had to do it.”

    A dance career adds another layer of complexity to the classic Cuban defector story. Dancers are almost as highly esteemed as baseball players in Cuba, and are an elite group bolstered by the renown of the National Ballet and its 92-year-old grande dame, Alicia Alonso, who founded that company in 1948.

    The defecting dancers expressed gratitude for the rigorous training they had received. But they said that to fulfill their personal and artistic aspirations, they needed to get away from a system that seemed frozen in time and subject to political favoritism.

    For all its world fame, perhaps even because of it, the dancers said, the National Ballet of Cuba has a narrow focus and resists innovation. While praising the rigor of their training, the dancers used words like “stagnant” and “frozen” to describe the company’s repertory, which focuses on a handful of classical ballets, like “Giselle” and “Swan Lake,” and teaching methods.

    “You feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over,” Mr. González said.

    And while the ballet’s long association with Ms. Alonso is one of its chief marketing tools, the dancers described her as no longer directly involved on a daily basis in running the company. With defections a constant threat, they added, the selection of dancers to go on tours abroad is based not exclusively on talent, but also on a performer’s perceived political reliability.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/arts/dance/defectors-from-cubas-national-ballet-land-on-their-feet.html?_r=0

  26. Humberto asks why only foreign multinationals, not Cubans, are allowed to invest in Cuba.

    The same reason the hotels were only for foreigners.

    Because Castro is Master of the Plantation and he regards his Cuban serfs with contempt.

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