Super Dad

Yoani Sánchez, Havana, 15 June 2014 – Ricardo has raised his two daughters alone. One August morning he woke up and his wife had left. Later he learned she’d been intercepted on the high seas and spent months at the Guantanamo Naval Base before arriving in the United States. At the time, the youngest of the girls still slept in a cradle and the oldest was learning her first letters.

They had hard times. The maternal grandmother’s aggressiveness didn’t respect paternal custody. “These girls need a mother,” she shouted angrily, every time she saw him. Nor was it easy for him in the village. A man abandoned can go unnoticed in Havana, but in the provinces it’s a constant joke, the talk of all the neighbors.

He had to face it all alone. He had to explain to his daughters what it means to start menstruating, and also the importance of using a condom. He had to stand in long lines at the pharmacy to buy sanitary pads and sell some of his belongings to buy them extra cotton every month. He specialized in ironing uniform skirts, mending stockings, and removing nits from their hair. At first his braids were loose at the top and fell apart in a few minutes, but later he was a total master.

He never went back to sleep in the morning. There was always one of his “women” who had to get up early and he made breakfast and woke them up. One of them says her “papi” makes the best peas in the whole country, while the other still asks him to edit what she writes.

He doesn’t speak ill of their mother. He prefers to build up their hopes that somewhere in California there is a sad-looking lady who is waiting to reunite with her daughters. But the letters don’t come more than once a decade and the last time she was more worried about her own unemployment problems than the girls she left in Cuba.

Ricardo could have disengaged and done what so many others do. Cuban society never would have blamed him for sending his daughters to their grandmother’s house. After all, the popular refrain would justify it, asserting that “a father is nobody.” His case, however, is not so rare. It happens that his story is lost among so many of our everyday emergencies.

Today he went out early, without making any noise, wanting to get a haircut and buy a little rum to celebrate Father’s Day. It’s Sunday, “the girls” will sleep late and the kitchen will already smell of the pot where the beans are cooking.


56 thoughts on “Super Dad


    CUBA STANDARD: Cuban economist predicts ‘Day Zero’ for currency merger – by Vito Echevarría

    A leading Cuban economist believes “Day Zero” of currency unification for businesses and government institutions is just a few months away.

    Pavel Vidal, a former Central Bank economist who currently teaches at the Pontífica Universidad Javeriana in Calí, Colombia, raised eyebrows at a recent conference in New York when he said he believes that a key step in one of Raúl Castro’s most dramatic economic reforms — the unification of the Cuban peso for companies and government institutions — is approaching at the beginning of 2015 (the currency merger for consumers in the Cuba government’s step-by-step approach will occur at a later date).

    The topic that stirred most interest during a conference on Cuba in late May at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York was the future of the Cuban peso and its impact on living standards, as well as on foreign investment.

    For more than 20 years, the country has lived under a two-currency system, with local workers being paid in Cuban pesos (CUP) (worth about 24 pesos to the dollar), while many goods and services are available only in convertible Cuban pesos (CUC) (pegged more or less on par with the dollar). Foreign investors operate almost exclusively with the CUC.

    Cuba’s Ministry of Finance and Prices (MFP) published a series of resolutions on the future of the Cuban peso in the Gaceta Oficial last March, and mentioned a Día Cero as the time when the dual currency system will be eliminated for businesses and government institutions. But it didn’t provide a date.

    “I believe that Día Cero will be in January 2015, given the annual cycle that the [Cuban government] plans the economy,” Vidal told Cuba Standard. “By September 2014, [Cuban] enterprises must submit to the Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) their plans for 2015, so that they are approved.”

    “There is no total certainty, but it’s very probable,” he added.

    Vidal also predicts a 10:1 exchange rate.

    “It’s likely that these plans have already incorporated the exchange rate of 10 CUP:1CUC (10CUP:1USD). The resolutions are aiming to regulate pricing and accounting practices once the CUP is re-established as the only currency for transactions in the business sector.”

    Vidal feels that when Día Cero occurs, it will be swift, in order for the government to control the pace of such a dramatic change in the island’s economy.


  2. Yoani write about one case among millions.

    For anyone who doubts what vicious monsters the Castros are, just look at the millions of families he has divided and destroyed.

    The current law in Cuba says that any Cuban slave who escapes will not be able to visit his family for at least 8 years.

    8 years for the lucky ones. For many, it’s still a life sentence.

  3. Omar,

    The aim of the US embargo was to prevent Castro from exporting his terrorist violence and form of fascist government to other countries.

    I don’t know if it worked at all, but it’s past history.

    Castro has obviously exported fascism to Chavez. And the imbecile cocaine king who runs Bolivia.

    You can go visit in Cuba any time you like. Why don’t you? Don’t you like socialism?

  4. Omar,

    I agree we need an international system of equality

    Which would make it impossible for emperors like Maduro and Castro to prey on the Venezuelan and Cuban people.

    Or empires like Russia and China to prey on the Venezuelan and Cuban people, or prey on us, which China is already doing.

    Or the Islamic and Arab Empires to prey on the whole world and destroy the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel.

    A weak democracy like the USA can’t do much against those brutal empires.

    But we the people must speak the truth.


    Obama Has Assisted Overthrow or Attempted Overthrow of at least Nine Countries
    In previous posts, I have compiled documentary records of Obama’s many attempts, all 100% illegal acts of war by a massive military empire, to overthrow or assist in the overthrow of various weaker countries.

    I had arrived at the number of overthrows as being seven, but I always said “at least” seven. This is because there could easily be more overthrow attempts being carried out in secret. This, as easily predicted given US history of about 62 overthrows, turned out to be correct.

    In addition to the seven governments (five democratic) that Obama was already known to be waging war against by trying to overthrow them, we can add Cuba, due to this new revelation:

    The US Is Still Trying to Overthrow the Cuban Government

    Of course, Cuba should actually have been added to the list already, since Obama has continued the USA’s illegal, genocidal sanctions against Cuba, in defiance of all of planet Earth. The last vote at the UN against the USA’s illegal sanctions, in 2013, was 188 countries to 2, the two of course being the criminal, the USA, and one of its major criminal partners, Israel. From the declassified record (discussed in books such as Hegemony or Survival), we know that the point of the sanctions is to inflict harm on Cuban civilians (mass terrorism) in the hope of making them starve, become angry, and overthrow their government.
    So that makes eight overthrow operations by Obama. And, actually, I would add one more: Afghanistan.
    As white masters used to slaughter hundreds of slaves after slave uprisings, to show slaves who was boss and keep them terrorized, subservient, and profitable, the USA slaughtered thousands of Afghans, mainly civilians, after 9/11, to show Afghans and others who is boss and keep them terrorized, subservient, and profitable.

    Even though Obama didn’t start that war, he massively expanded it from 30,000 troops to over 100,000, continuing the post-invasion war-aim of trying to rid the country of the regime installed by the US, the Taliban, and supported until the Taliban became uncooperative on energy projects. Obama has since restarted the energy projects through the second regime installed by the US (projects which were the reason for the US invading Afghanistan and not Saudi Arabia, where almost all the hijackers came from, and which is, according to the white house, the world’s biggest supporter of the terrorist groups involved in 9/11).

    Thus, Obama has overthrown or attempted to overthrow at least nine countries, most of them democracies.

    It is also worth remembering what Obama and the USA hate about Cuba, and why they are trying to use subversion and terrorism, in open defiance of the rest of the world, to overthrow the Cuban government. This is easily done by comparing Castro with the dictatorship that was in Cuba before him, the Batista dictatorship

    The USA was in love with the Batista dictatorship. Why? Same reason the USA loves any of the dozens of dictatorships it supports. Under Batista, the USA literally owned much of Cuba. Cuba was a cash machine for elite US owners, giving extremely cheap resources and labor from a destitute population held down at gunpoint by the fascist Cuban/US dictatorship.

    The US ambassador in Cuba was considered the second, and actually also even the first, most powerful person in Cuba. Rivers of money flowed into the pockets of sleazy US elites who love to use men with guns to maintain the impoverishment of entire peoples, including starvation wages and no human services of any kind, because that means all the money that would be going to those things goes instead to the owners.

    Castro, horrified by what the Cuban/US dictatorship was doing to people, overthrew it, kicked out the US fascists, and diverted massive amounts of money into starting human services for Cubans. People became literate and living and health standards shot up.

    That’s what the USA HATES. The USA, under the horrible war-criminal Kennedy, immediately began terrorist operations to overthrow the monstrosity that had ruined its personal cash machine. (Note that it was not the fact that a coup was carried out that the USA was opposed to; the USA carried out and supported dozens of coups, just as today Obama supports Ukraine and Egypt, both juntas.)

    The USA has invaded Cuba, waged biological warfare against it, waged major terrorist attacks against it and harbored the terrorists, tried to murder Castro almost seven-hundred times, and waged a 60 year long campaign of terrorist sanctions against Cuba, ongoing at this moment and maintained by the war-criminal and terrorist Obama, in defiance of every country on our planet.

    Always under assault by the biggest military state in history, Cuba has at times, though not any longer, closed its borders. It drew criticism from the US for this, but also criticism from the US (namely the war criminal “Bill” Clinton) for opening its borders. All the while, the USA massively supports (among countless other unspeakable atrocities) Israel as it lays siege to Gaza, the world’s biggest open-air prison.

    The USA picks on the weak because it can, to benefit the people doing the bullying, US company and stock owners.

    The weak can’t really do much about it, except maybe band together and become strong, which we may slowly be seeing in the form of the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).
    To check the predator-country the USA, we need an international system of equality that makes it impossible for the USA to prey on people.

Comments are closed.