HAVANA TIMES – I feel like an expert in scams when I watch any propaganda the Cuban government produces to talk about the country.
If they are talking about medicine, then they begin with the well-known chorus of: “Cuba is a medical power”, “there is no better healthcare system in the world than Cuba’s”, although everyone here can see the constant deterioration of hospitals, stretchers with worms, malpractice that costs more and more lives.
Doctors are sold as if they were coffee, tobacco and rum. They are only paid a small of their wage as “collaborators”, and tribute is paid to them at 9 PM with hypocritical applause.
If they are talking about education, well, then it’s the same speech that’s been made for over 60 years: “that education is free”, in spite of people seeing that the education system is broken beyond repair.
They send messengers to junior high schools trying to rope in young candidates to sign up for teaching institutes, most of whom enter with excitement or the promise of receiving a decent wage, without taking care to make sure they truly have a vocation for this profession.
They are kids teaching classes to other kids. In the end, a couple continue on to do a degree and they receive pedagogical material from the revolutionary Communist system, directing them towards a sectarian position.
Cuban mothers don’t have the choice of sending our children to private schools or to some religious institution. In short, our children stop being our own, in symbolic terms, when they reach preschool and the State takes them under its wing to indoctrinate them as it pleases.
The government lives in a crystal ball where everything in Cuba is better, in spite of it being a country where a foreigner is called “Sir” and we are called “comrades” so that we are all committed to each other and making us complicit with the lies they sell us.
Sometimes, I wonder: how do they manage to walk around with their eyes shut? How can they talk about everything being OK when we know that everything is turned on its head?
To top things off, we now have these new dollar stores. As if we were paid in this currency!
Today, as the new dollar stores opened, I remembered the two years my uncle was in jail because he was carrying three bills from the North, which seem to be the government’s savior today. But it’s not mine.
I don’t have a relative who can set up a card for me with 100 or even 20 USD. I don’t have anything other than the 300 pesos that only have access to the cries of the street vegie seller or baker, or anyone of these street vendors who walk like I do, or to take up the habit of Havana nights sitting on the side of the sidewalk, at the poor people’s store, where we have to tell stories while we wait for morning and whatever the truck brings in. Whether that’s chicken, soap or detergent.
Meanwhile, in the King’s castle, coffers are being filled which will continue to contaminate the imperial Court’s fantasy.
Let’s hope this bubble bursts soon.