Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Inequalities of Communism

Apologists will make the Bearded Stooge into a hero, claiming that Cuba can boast of universal healthcare, education and equal rights. There is no poverty in Cuba and everyone has a home. Yeah, right.

As it turns out, even if you are a law abiding member of el partido (the party) - meaning you follow your ration book, donate blood to the comité de barrio (the committe that controls the neighborhood), and even vote in them fake elections can get kicked out of their makeshift homes and be left without a place to live, without a roof over their heads. For no apparent reason.

On the other end of the spectrum you have what are known as quedaditos - or literally "stayers". Who are these people? They are the sons and daughters of high ranking officials of the Cuban government, that live in Madrid Spain. Yes you read right, they live outside of Cuba. Now, if things in Cuba are so great - especially for the sons and daughters of government officials - why would you live out of Cuba?

Living outside of Cuba is the least of their problems. According to one of them interviewed under anonymity the main problem is that while they live outside of Cuba they cannot take an anti-government stance because they could be banned from ever traveling to Cuba again - meaning they would not be allowed to see their families.

"Si uno dice algo aquí, en Cuba lo sabrán y nunca más uno verá a la familia'', dijo una abogada cubana de treinta y tantos años que reside en Madrid. 'Por ejemplo, si usted publica mi nombre en el periódico y cita que yo dije `Cuba es un país de porquería', me llaman y me dicen: 'Después de haber declarado eso, no volverás más a Cuba' ''.
Control and fear, even outside of Cuba and even among government officials. In Cuba no one is safe, unless of course you play along.

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