Rain, A Justification For So Many Things

Two teenagers in the rain (14ymedio)

Two teenagers in the rain (14ymedio)

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Generation Y, 10 June 2016 –“Why did you bring the girl if it is raining?” my friend’s daughter’s second grade teacher asked when she brought her child to school on Wednesday. Although the school year should continue, many elementary school teachers took advantage of the precipitation this week to hasten its end. The bureaucrats used the excuse of the bad weather to delay paperwork, while countless medical clinics opened late due to the weather.

Many state employees behave as if they are sugar cubes, or watercolors about to dissolve, or allergic to water when the rain comes. This reaction is laughable given that we live in a tropical country, but there is also a lot of drama involved in the serious damage the rains cause to millions of people. Over and over again, public services behave as if each rainy season was the island’s first.

The banking system, dysfunctional throughout the year, collapses almost entirely when two drops of rain fall from the sky. The Nauta email service – operated by the state phone company – is thrown into crisis, and urban transport outdoes itself in terms of problems. A drizzle and schools suspend classes, retail markets barely open, and even the emergency rooms in public health centers work at half speed.

All this without a hurricane, or 60-mile-an-hour-plus winds, or one of those heavy snows that keep nations further north on edge. The paralyzation of life here caused by the rains is more than a justification, it is an alibi, one that allows many, during these days, to do what they most desire: Nothing.

12 thoughts on “Rain, A Justification For So Many Things

  1. SOCIALISM IN ALL IT’S GLORY! BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!
    HAVANA TIMES: Cuba, Where “It’s Nobody’s Fault” – By Fernando Ravsberg

    Cuba spends US $2 billion every year importing food that could be produced at home. The government spends tens of millions of dollars to import livestock and agricultural inputs but often they do not reach their destination, the farmers. In the port of Havana there are currently two warehouses filled with fertilizer going bad without anyone to pick up. The port workers say that its quality deteriorates “because of the time they have it there,” but that doesn’t seem to bother any agricultural authority.

    And it’s not an isolated case, Trabajadores newspaper reported that the port warehouses are overflowing with products, causing shortages, a drop in stevedore’s income and increased penalty payments for ships remaining in port.

    Then the reporter asks “Who is to blame?” But then he immediately invites us not to go looking for anyone responsible, but solutions. It seems that the duo Buena Fe was inspired by the Cuban press when they wrote the song “It’s nobody’s fault.”

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=119412

  2. Cuba is in a Global desertification zone. Cuba’s annual water supply is in the RED. Climate Change is a major contributing factor for this and yes Cuba needs to invest on desalination water plants. Cuba needs more money for water management. Venezuela depends on hydroelectric plants to generate the country’s electricity. Venezuela water supply to drive the turbines to generate electricity is also being affected by a draught there. It is not ALL Maduro and the Chavistas fault what is going on in Venezuela. What is going on in Venezuela is the result of the following:

    1. Crude prices very low (First U.S with fracking and then Iraq increasing the supply, combined with less demand in some major users)
    2. The Venezuelan People (crime, corruption, proxies for foreign nations, greed, exploitation)
    3. Climate
    4. mismanagement of governance.
    5. foreign intervention
    6. Corporatism self interest over the People’s Common Good with the exception of the oil industry

  3. NEOLIBERAL POLICIES ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY
    Noam Chomsky

    Zed Books, 2014

    Throughout much of the world there is growing resistance to the severe harm that has resulted from the neoliberal policies of the past generation. Latin America has progressed farthest in overthrowing this harsh regime, in recent years largely freeing itself from the grip of Western imperial domination for the first time and beginning to confront some of its severe internal problems, though many remain, as revealed recently by the mass protests in Brazil. These protests are joined by many others throughout the world, responding to local attacks on elementary rights and sometimes challenging dominant institutions and seeking to develop alternatives, escaping their fetters. They join in the effort to “realize hope,” to build a better world, to develop structures and relationships that are essential to overcoming class, gender, racial, power, and other hierarchies that relegate the many to subordination and that allow the few to dominate. But how should these hopes be realized? That question has to be posed clearly, and answered to the extent that we can.

    The task is fraught with risk. One can envision too much and in so doing exceed what anyone can now reasonably assert, an act of hubris that might close off rather than enrich creative initiatives and, even worse, usurp the rightful role of future citizens in determining their own lives and relations. However well-motivated, such blueprinting would threaten coercion rather than facilitate liberation.

    Alternatively, one can praise values we all share but say too little about how they might be actualized and about the kinds of institutional features that would allow people to manage their own lives with dignity, solidarity, and equity. Realizing Hope, and I am now referring to the book, not the endeavor, carefully navigates this minefield of possible dangers. It aims to provide a worthy and viable vision that is much needed in the current climate of resistance, one that can inform, inspire, and generate shared programs without going beyond what we can sensibly envision and crossing the line to authoritarian prescription. It investigates a wide range of issues, including economy and polity, kinship and culture, international relations and ecology, and even journalism, science, and education, among other topics. It seeks to provide an outline for a wide-ranging exploration of long-term aims of resistance that will provide essential tools for movements seeking to bend the arc of history towards justice, to adapt Martin Luther King’s famous phrase.

    It is surely necessary to resist oppression and pursue liberation — and also to advance towards realizing hope by gaining clarity about our objectives and constructing paths to attain them.

  4. THE GREAT HIPOCRACY OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES. A COMOUFLAGE FOR RIGHT WING DICTATORSHIP. DONALD TRUMP SYMBOLIZES WHAT THE RIGHT IS ALL ABOUT: RACISM, INDIVIDUAL DISTRIBUTION OF GOODS AND SERVICE PRODUCE BY THE PEOPLE AND AGRESSION AND INTERVENTION. THE GREATEST THREAT TO HUMANITY AND LIFE ON THE PLANET IS THE RIGHT MODEL OF GOVERNANCE AND HOW THEY DEAL WITH THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR AND CLIMATE CHANGE. (LATIN AMERICANS KEEP THE UNITED STATES AT ARMS LENGTH. DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA FUNDED BY THE UNITED STATES AND CONTROL BY RIGHT WING THINKING ARE A THREAT TO YOUR SOVEREIGNTY AND INDEPENDENCE. EXPEND MORE RESOURCES ON FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE THAN REGIME CHANGE.)

    To defend state power and private economic power from the domestic enemy, those two entities must be concealed – while in sharp contrast, the enemy must be fully exposed to state authority.

    The principle was lucidly explained by the policy intellectual Samuel P. Huntington, who instructed us that “Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.”

    Huntington added a crucial illustration. In his words, “you may have to sell [intervention or other military action] in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union that you are fighting. That is what the United States has been doing ever since the Truman Doctrine” at the outset of the Cold War.

    Huntington’s insight into state power and policy was both accurate and prescient. As he wrote these words in 1981, the Reagan administration was launching its war on terror – which quickly became a murderous and brutal terrorist war, primarily in Central America, but extending well beyond to southern Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

    From that day forward, in order to carry out violence and subversion abroad, or repression and violation of fundamental rights at home, state power has regularly sought to create the misimpression that it is terrorists that we are fighting, though there are other options: drug lords, mad mullahs seeking nuclear weapons, and other ogres said to be seeking to attack and destroy us.

    Throughout, the basic principle remains: Power must not be exposed to the sunlight. Edward Snowden has become the most wanted criminal in the world for failing to comprehend this essential maxim.

    In brief, there must be complete transparency for the population, but none for the powers that must defend themselves from this fearsome internal enemy.

  5. Noam Chomsky for Refugee Crisis

    Noam Chomsky

    DiEM25, May 5, 2016

    In some countries, there is a real refugee crisis. In Lebanon, for example, where perhaps one-quarter of the population consists of refugees from Syria, over and above a flood of refugees from Palestine and Iraq. Other poor and strife-ridden countries of the region have also absorbed huge numbers of refugees, among them Jordan, and Syria before its descent to collective suicide. The countries that are enduring a refugee crisis had no responsibility for creating it. Generating refugees is largely a responsibility of the rich and powerful, who now groan under the burden of a trickle of miserable victims whom they can easily accommodate.

    The US-UK invasion of Iraq alone displaced some 4 million people, of whom almost half fled to neighboring countries. And Iraqis continue to flee from a country that is one of the most miserable on earth after a decade of murderous sanctions followed by the sledgehammer blows of the rich and powerful that devastated the ruined country and also ignited a sectarian conflict that is now tearing the country and the region to shreds.

    There is no need to review the European role in Africa, the source of more refugees, now passing through the funnel created by the French-British-US bombing of Libya, which virtually destroyed the country and left it in the hands of warring militias. Or to review the US record in Central America, leaving horror chambers from which people are fleeing in terror and misery, joined now by Mexican victims of the trade pact which, predictably, destroyed Mexican agriculture, unable to compete with highly subsidized US agribusiness conglomerates.

    The reaction of the rich and powerful United States is to pressure Mexico to keep US victims far from its own borders, and to drive them back mercilessly if they manage to evade the controls. The reaction of the rich and powerful European Union is to bribe and pressure Turkey to keep pathetic survivors from its borders and to herd those who escape into brutal camps.

    Among citizens, there are honorable exceptions. But the reaction of the states is a moral disgrace, even putting aside their considerable responsibility for the circumstances that have compelled people to flee for their lives.

    The shame is not new. Let us keep just to the United States, the most privileged and powerful country in the world, with incomparable advantages. Throughout most of its history it welcomed European refugees, to settle the lands taken by violence from the assassinated nations that dwelt in them. That changed with the Immigration Act of 1924, aimed at excluding particularly Italians and Jews. There is no need to dwell on their fate. Even after the war, survivors still confined to concentration camps were barred entry. Today, Roma are being expelled from France to horrible conditions in Eastern Europe, descendants of Holocaust victims, if anyone cares.

    The shame is deep and persistent. The time has surely come to put it to an end and to try to attain some decent level of civilization.

  6. Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

    Mahatma Gandhi

    I wonder what would happened if a general strike or slow down were to take place in Cuba. How many Cubans will go along with it.

  7. YOUTUBE: CUBA DOCUMENTARY – “Oscar’s Cuba” – Oscar’s Cuba, produced by In Altum Productions, is a 60-minute documentry that will help spread the message and story of Dr. Oscar Biscet, a prisoner of conscience who was serving a 25-year prison sentence in Cuba for his promotion of human rights. Oscar’s Cuba will highlight the courage, faith and hope of Dr. Biscet and others working for democracy on the island. The goals of Oscar’s Cuba include raising public awareness about the plight of the Cuban people, helping individuals to stand and work in solidarity with those unjustly imprisoned and, ultimately, helping to secure the release of Dr. Biscet and all of Cuba’s prisoners of conscience.

  8. THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Dr. Oscar Biscet: A profile in courage from Cuba – 6/10/16

    When Oscar Elias Biscet was a young physician in Havana, he noticed something peculiar. Cuba’s healthcare system was held up as one of the finest in the world, but the communist country also had the highest abortion rate in the Americas. What’s more, babies were regularly being aborted just moments before birth and even after birth.

    When Biscet exposed this grisly practice, he was stripped of his medical license (his wife, Elsa Morejon, lost her nursing job). A year later, he displayed the Cuban flag upside down and received a three-year prison sentence for public disorder and dishonoring national symbols. A few days after his release, Biscet was re-arrested, this time for meeting with other dissidents, convicted of treason and given a 25-year term, including significant time in solitary confinement.

    Biscet served more than eight years of that sentence, and more than 11 years total in Cuba’s fetid prisons. During that time, he became a symbol of Cubans’ fight for freedom and democracy.

    Biscet recently left his home country for the first time. On a visit to Washington, D.C., this week, he met with members of the Washington Examiner’s editorial board. In a wide-ranging interview, Biscet called President Obama’s outreach to the Cuban government, which includes re-opening embassies in both nations and loosening of travel and trade restrictions to Cuba, a “strategic error.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dr.-oscar-biscet-a-profile-in-courage-from-cuba/article/2593545#.V1qeO9cLkQI.facebook

  9. SO IRONIC THAT CUBA GETS A HUGE AMOUNT OF RAIN PER YEAR BUT THEY CANNOT EVEN SUPPLY A MEASLY AMOUNT OF RUNNING WATER TO IT’S CITIZENS!
    YOUTUBE: Escasez de agua en Cuba. Así viven los cubanos – Water shortages in Cuba. This is how ordinary Cubans live.

  10. YO TAMBIEN EXIJO: The effort of normalizing censorship in Cuba – by Tania Bruguera — HAVANA, Cuba. June 5, 2016 : I received a phone call from my friend Antoni Muntadas, inviting me to his talk at the National Fine Arts Museum. I arrived at a museum that denied my entry during the opening of its biennial exhibitions (although I was inside a few days before, to spend some time with Gustavo Pérez Monzón while he was installing, and to say hello to Tomás Sánchez). This would be the first time I would try to enter afterwards; Lia Villares, Luis Trápaga and El Sexto also entered.
    The museum was hyper vigilant, enveloped in a tension present in its environment, the tension was created by bodies – too sculpted to be artists or curators – almost in formation, almost predicting the person who would attempt to bypass the entry way that was allotted for entry into the lecture.
    I entered into a conference that had already begun and was surprised because the topic was censorship, one of the themes in Muntadas’ work. Although you still have to be a foreigner to be permitted to speak of these topics in a public event in Havana without self-censoring yourself it seemed to me like a good sign, given that the museum has a new director and this is the way he is beginning his public program. It was a shame that there were almost no students from the ISA and that the majority of the public was composed of institutional functionaries and trained artists. But I thought how good it is that the functionaries, who at times have to act as the censors, are here.
    But at that moment Jorge Fernández intervenes, the new director of the Museum of Fine Arts, taking advantage of the topic to try to equate the censorship that occurs in Cuba and the institutional censorship that happens internationally, making an explanation where they appear the same, justifying and de-contextualizing with this explanation the histories of censorship in Cuba, as if they were a part or a requirement of the new feverish struggle to belong to the world. If censorship is universal it is, therefore – I interpret-, normal. He almost said that the blockade is our fault, while assuring (here I paraphrase) that those who “exaggerate” about censorship in Cuba are the product of the bad enemies in our country have. These words, which were the first intervention I heard from him in this dialogue where he seemed to be primarily a listener, seemed to fulfill the function of making an enemy, to place guilt upon and censoring they who question the censorship that is exercised by institutions in Cuba.
    Ana María Guash, who was guiding the conversation with Muntadas who would make a summary at the end of each section, directed herself towards the public to see if there was anyone who had a question. I asked to speak.
    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE POST!
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/yo-tambi%C3%A9n-exijo/the-effort-of-normalizing-censorship-in-cuba/1572799139687263

  11. Great way to wake up in dry California this morning. Excellent writing! Thank you.

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