Cuba’s New Scapegoat

Ariel Glaria Enriquez    

Foto: Caridad
Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — Ever since the government’s last push to allow a private sector in the Cuban economy, the controversy surrounding social indiscipline has intensified. Civil chaos, which stirs up the most heated critiques in all aspects of Cuban life, warns us about the phenomenon that goes beyond the limits artists and intellectuals conform to.

As if it were a new phenomenon, social indiscipline has become the comfortable limits of a critical message which has been non-existent for too long now, and has found, as if it never existed before, in today’s circumstances, its scapegoat: Private Enterprise.

For over more than a half century, what was this inefficiency of services, the delays in processing the most simple legal formalities; the lines; the outrageous journeys in buses; the agonizing trips of parents with their children to the few places which have always existed for children?  All of this leading to the abnormal behavior of favoritism.

What are these bunches of prefabricated buildings, without urban infrastructure which make them look like makeshift human warehouses without basic amenities? Or these beer-bars for workers? These overcrowded, dirty places, which are equal to animal pens because they only have one exit which also serves as an entrance, which flourished in the ‘70s and ‘80s, a copy of those same bars which once existed in socialist Germany, the USSR, etc.

All of this and much more has been a huge experiment on civil and social indiscipline. It creates the greatest lack of controls of our economic resources and is the most immune to administrative corruption.

This concept contrasted the functional with the pleasant; the qualitative with the quantitative, its use without caring about how ugly it might be. All of this stems from a social behavior without precedence, creating, as it were, a new, cannibalistic and uniform idiosyncrasy. Today nobody listens, everyone’s too busy shouting and arguing.

The private sector is taking shape in our country, showing us another way to act towards each other. In spite of there not being a service culture, which we have lost, it gives us signs of how efficient it can be when contrasted with state businesses where maltreatment, delays and preference in serving a foreigner when there’s only contempt in serving a fellow citizen is commonplace.

7 thoughts on “Cuba’s New Scapegoat

  • Thanks Griffin!

  • It reminds me of a story from the last years of the USSR. McDonalds had been granted permission to open their first restaurant in Moscow and they sent a Russian speaking American to help train the local Russian staff. The McDonalds trainer emphasized the importance of creating each customer with a friendly “Good morning, how can I help you?”

    The Russians were genuinely puzzled by this instruction. The American trainer asked them what the problem was, and got this angry response from the Russian staff,

    “Why do we have to be nice? We’re the ones with the hamburgers!”

  • My reply was rhetorical.

    Anyone who has spent any time in Cuba without politically correct
    blinders on understands exactly why most Cubans turn into dicks as soon as they’re granted any authority or power or status or money over their fellow countrymen.

    It starts immediately from the lowliest cashier in the crappiest CUP store, right on up through the ranks. It’s an epidemic that unfortunately affects almost all Cubans.

  • I think Eden that it is a consequence of the policy of appointing members of the PCC to the positions of authority and power. Yes, as members of the PCC, they not only think they are superior, but have been encouraged to do so by the regime. You are correct, in saying that it is not nice, but I don’t think it is a consequence of Cuban culture – although there is the macho syndrome bequeathed from Spain – but rather the culture of the PCC and communism itself.

  • I never really understood why Cubans with the tiniest bit of authority or power instantly turn into absolute dicks towards their fellow Cubans. It’s a weird power trip and not a nice aspect of Cuban culture.

  • So as the saying goes, Ariel, “Be the change you’d like to see.”

  • Duh

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