Looking Around for Work… Again

Erasmo Calzadilla

A few months ago I quit my job and have been wandering around since. I was down spirited and dejected, watching my savings vanish one peso at a time and suffering for having lent money to friends who still haven’t paid me back. Later I transitioned into the phase of borrowing money and living off my family and friends.

I had to hit bottom in order to react. I’ve finally come out of my funk to face the questioning, investigations and rudeness.

To my surprise, and unlike the last time, wherever I’ve gone to workplaces there have been vacant positions, though not always to my liking.

I broke the ice with an intensive urban “organoponico” garden.

With the price of oil continuing to rise towards its zenith, I want to prepare myself for the serious consequences by learning how to work the land. Reality is great for shattering my illusions.

I showed up at one of those places ready to taste the earth toiling under the summer sun, but all they had available was a night guard position. Working from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. every other night, I could earn 300 pesos a month by preventing hungry people and jerks from breaking in to steal at night.

I imagined myself facing interminable nights making rounds armed with a stick and I felt my chest tighten. They told me to come back in a week, during which time I decided to test my luck looking for other jobs.

Later a friend told me about a job related to computer science. I was already seeing myself using sophisticated equipment and developing applications in the tranquility of my house or in a comfortable office. But no – it was nothing like that.

In the interview I found out that my job would consist pretty much of filling out bills online. I would work in a warehouse far from my home for eight hours a week for a laughable wage.

At the most decisive point of this meeting with my future boss, this guy looked at me dead in the eyes and asked: “Have you had any kind of problem? Because if something turns up in your investigation, you won’t be able to work for this company.”

“No,” I responded. “I haven’t had any problems.” The fact is, though, my work record is blemished. Nonetheless I’m going to turn in the papers but without hopes of anything coming of it.”

Finally I went to a prestigious high-level center where the wages weren’t so bad and where I would have an interesting and creative job. At the initial interview it seemed that everything was going fine and the wind was at my back, but later in another more probing meeting I had to discuss my disastrous professional career.

I began explaining my firing from the university where I had worked as a professor, but then — I don’t know why — I felt compelled to talk about other adventures of mine. Finally I added that under no condition would I join a Rapid Response Brigade (Cuban Stormtroopers). The woman looked at me as if to say, “This kid is definitively missing a screw.”

I have to wait a while for the response, but I’m not holding onto a lot hope for that one either. We’ll see.

Meanwhile I wander around free and without commitments. So, if you have a yard that needs cutting, a house that needs cleaning or are looking for an honest worker for your business, then don’t hesitate to contact me through Havana Times. I’m still healthy and strong, though my mind… well, you already read about that.

Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.


31 thoughts on “Looking Around for Work… Again

  • May 5, 2011 at 8:09 am
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    I can’t believe it! Millions of people get fired day by day around the world, but only in Cuba you can ‘blame it on Fidel’. Come on! And this time, as far as I’m concerned, Erasmo quit his job on his own will – ‘A few months ago I quit my job (…)’.

    As long as the ‘boss – employee’ social relationship dominates our world, these things will never change.

  • April 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm
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    Totally agree “North Africa today tells me that real change in the future will come from with in.”
    Glad we have been able to work this out!

  • April 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm
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    J~ I got ya and i think you got me. But let me be clear on one thing about the standing idle. This in its self shows interest and compassion for those less fortunate. North Africa today tells me that real change in the future will come from with in.
    Michael~ Nope, we worked hard on this one. But it would have been even more interesting if Soc could have mediate .

  • April 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm
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    Michael talking about Socrates.
    A while back I was reading Plato and was really amazed by how current are the things he talks on his books!
    It is really surprising that we have been struggling with these same problems for eons. I think is important we strive to find solutions to these problems and to show that we care.

    I do profoundly care for my brothers and sisters in Cuba that lack freedom to speak what they think because they are in fear of retribution. Simply because I was once in fear too. I was in their place and I had nobody talking for me. Defending my rights. The right of those without voices. I love coming to this place one and many times because we may not agree in everything but we can talk and have a rational discussion on many of the topics that affect my homeland.

    I love both the US and Cuba. I wish I could help Cuba more.

  • April 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm
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    Erasmo’s account of his plight has somehow become the catalyst for a productive discussion. Not sure we have convinced one another of our respective positions, but at least we have listened to one another. Could Socrates have done any better?!

  • April 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm
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    Dear Harry, I do get you too and we seem to be in a sort of stalemate. Let me simplify your argument for you.

    You said that Erasmo’s situation is not unique around the world let us represent that with

    C(E) Erasmo’s situation in Cuba
    S(A) Alberto’s situation in Spain
    R(D) Dmitri’s situation in Russia.

    Now your arguments is that C(E) is OK because there is also S(A) and R(D) and possibly many more examples of the same situation in many other places.

    Now here is my point

    C(E), and S(A) and R(D) can all be change if we help. If we make governments and regimes understand that it is not fair to do so to Erasmo,Albert and Dmitri.

    Do you copy me now?
    I do not think we who share the blessings of freedom should stay idle and not pointing at the issues and suggest solutions. Clearly that’s all we can do from afar. It is up to them to implement them or to find their own solutions to the problems they face.
    I still think Erasmo is an extraordinarily good person with very good intentions to be loss in this political mess that is Cuba. I can really talk a lot about Cuba and US because I believe I know much about how both countries work. Can not say the same unfortunately about other places. I think you have to live in a country for many years to understand their culture and their people to arrive to conclusions.

    I hope my math simplified explanation above have not obscure matters more! 🙂

    Harry, I do believe is good to talk about all this things and with anybody. It helps us all understand each other and that itself is a really good thing!

  • April 23, 2011 at 9:42 am
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    Julio~ I get it, I get it, I get it what you have stated. However I am not so sure you understand that the real point I have been making is Erasmo’s situation really isn’t as unique (around the world) as you may think. I am not minimizing his struggle at all. It’s just that, change a little here and a little there and you have the same road blocks stopping millions of educated people from success around the world. By the way the “luck wishing” has to do with anyone facing the challenge of going against the flow . It just so happens that it is more dangerous in some places than other. I am not just talking countries, I am talking peoples own worlds.

    I have immensely appreciate everyones opinion on this debate and comparison. No question in my mind that all of you are way more educated on history and politics than O Harry here. All I use is common sense from years of hard work and travel. More than any thing I hope some sort of wave of respect for man kind comes to our nations and soon.
    O and want to make a comment on the Paypal thing. It would be interesting to see if one could see any results from such an effort. After seeing the west response to Japans latest disaster. I seriously doubt it! But maybe worth the effort for E’s or whoever’s struggle . One caveat there could be legal ramifications and tax consequences if U.S. managed.
    Harry

  • April 23, 2011 at 2:57 am
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    Erasmo, if you should become a cooperative entrepreneur, or even an independent entrepreneur, you will be doing more for socialism than the whole state monopolist bureaucracy.

    Private productive property is the true basis of socialism, but such property must be in the hands of those who do the work, not of the state.

  • April 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm
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    Unfortunately, we humans are very much afflicted by something called group think this may also be a reason why people that belong to a group tend to follow a leader. A behavior that we may have inherited in our genes from our hominid ancestors and that in the past were relevant to our own survival as spices.

    But nowadays societies are founded on the believe that we should all have an equal participation in society and in the decisions of society as a whole. Something most people will consider fair. The truth is that in every society only a handful of people end up having a lot of power in their hands. Some in leftist countries like Cuba go totally unchecked by the people and out of reach.

    While in the US we have mechanism for this not to happen. People that participate in government here have real power and they do get elected by the people not by some party officials. There is also the freedom of the press. Believe it or not the press got a lot of power in this country and a lot of freedom.

    Please tell me if the Washington post was not responsable for making Richard Nixon resign his presidency?
    Cuban press is just a mouth piece for the political elite. What appears in their press is what they want. Nothing more nothing less.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_think

  • April 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm
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    Michael,
    The fact is that the one party systems fails too.

    “Better just to have one Party! (but with open and free discussion and debate within that one party) ”

    Let me see if I can explain what you probably already know.
    It fails because people feel force to voice opinions they do not have and to give a united support to causes they do not believe in. So people are forced into this double face behavior where they think one thing and appear to suppor another.

    You have been in Cuba I am sure you know what I am talking about here.
    I agree multiparty systems are not perfect either. But by their mere existence they give freedom and security to people. If you check the current cuban constitution you soon realize that they have put very strong breaks on freedom. At any time one of those bureaucrats can place in prison anyone dissenting from the political elite.

    So what is really at stake here is that the elite is not willing to share and let alone give up power. They have markedly committed many many errors from the economic realm to the social one. We now see the consequences of such uncontested and unchecked actions by the elite.

    A really impoverished nation with many problems in all of those realms.
    The solutions that where applied to solve Cuba’s problem now we can tell they were plain wrong.
    You see, In our system there is a lot of discusion taking place between the left and the right to arrive to solutions but over there the left do whatever they want. I have witness both systems and I think I like better the end result of our system here in the US.

  • April 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm
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    Yes,
    I do agree with you Harry on the following 🙂

    if you have read my prior comments here at HT I advocate for ending the embargo and travel restrictions for Americans. I think it will be a really good change that will help Cuba improve tremendously. So far all this policy has done is isolate Cubans in Cuba. We need connections. We need interchange of ideas.

    Also the Cuban government should change demonizing opposition and allow the formation of a multi party system.

    Harry by this “I do wish him all the luck and good decision making in the future” what do you mean?
    Do you mean he should stop behaving the way he has that sometimes may come as in very slight opposition to the Cuban elite? Or do you mean he should start to lie? To think one thing and do other?

    Is that your solution? This is the same that Michael offered. I think that’s no solution.

    I prefer Erasmo’s attitude .
    To be honest and to tell what he really think even if he can not find a job for it.
    I think this is a potent reason to change.
    Believe me Erasmo is not unique. My friend Peteco who was posted here at Havana Times a few weeks back is another example. How the system isolates those who are mainly free thinkers. That refuse to follow the conga line the others follow.

    How many are in this painful situation? I do not know. But I wish I could help them.
    A while back a proposed to Circles he should have a donation account setup from PayPal or whatever else he likes so we can help them at least the one’s that write for Havana Times.

  • April 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm
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    You seem to make a fetish of constitutionalism, Julio, specifically the Constitution of 1940. Yet, when the spirit has been corrupted, then so too the law, as is the case up here in the U.S.A. The Founding Fathers of the U.S.A., to the man from the economic elite, but also men of the Enlightenment, had studies well their history, and noted why democracy had failed before in Greece and Rome. Also, they didn’t exactly trust the masses, either, who they rightly suspected of viciousness and allowing their emotions to dictate policy; hence they placed all sorts of controls in order to insulate state power from the popular passions. Even such a sacred figure as Washington did not believe in the establishment of political parties. Nevertheless, objective conditions dictated their founding and, viola!, were born the Republican-Democrats and the Federalists. Fast forward two hundred years! Our founding fathers little suspect the utterly subversive power of the monopolies, nor those fictitious “individuals” which came to be know as the multi-national corporations, could have in controlling federal, state and local governments. We have now arrived at the same state as Rome, during the dying days of the Republic, where wealth has power over all. Now from the beginning of the 20th Century up ’til 1959 Cuba had political parties. Did they do Cuba any good? No! They produced crooks (like Prio-Socoras) and tyrants (like Machado and Batista). Why would we expect any different outcome with the reintroduction of political parties? Better just to have one Party! (but with open and free discussion and debate within that one party) As Origines said: “Within the Church, everything! Without the Church, nothing; darkness.” Just needs to be updated, substituting Party for Church. As Leslie Uggams used to croon: “It’s my Party, and I’ll cry if I want to/cry if I want to/You would cry too if it happend to you!” And “Yes! I see the party lights…”

  • April 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm
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    Julio, You have some good points. I did not know we were constructing a Kabul to assist Erasmo’s situation in Cuba. That was never O’ Harry’s intention (I want to return someday) I a sure you of that. I do wish him all the luck and good decision making in the future. I know its been way to long for the Cuban people and plenty of blame to go around i.e. embargo’s, poor trade and support partners the list can go on and on. But I feel the Cuban people have the power to outlast the shameful predicament the controlling powers have spilled on them. Would you agree with me one time?

  • April 22, 2011 at 11:46 am
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    Ok everyone
    I was looking over the responses here and notice for example
    that Harry does not really propose a solution to the problem but just limits himself to point out that the situation is similar to other countries. Be true or not it is irrelevant to the question Erasmo and many like Erasmo face. The issue is not if the US have those same issues.
    The issue is why Cuba have those issues.

    On the other hand Grady have a solution. Now I do see problems with Grady’s solution.

    First, Erasmo does not have the capital to start a business on his own I am not sure if this is a workable solution even if we try to abstract the solution for everyone is similar conditions to Erasmo. Many may not have even someone outside who could help them financially to get started.

    My solution is that there should be changes in the Constitution to allow for for political Dissent. People who dissent from government should be able to do so.
    They should have that freedom recognized by the constitution.

    Reading back on Raul’s recent speech when he talks about democratic changes. This are not so. For the simple reason that people are afraid of giving their real opinion because they are afraid of the consequences that it may carry. Like what has happen to Erasmo. There should be no consequences for expressing what one feels its right. So in other words I am saying the constitution of the republic should set individual freedoms as a main goal.

    Going on that path will also mean they need to admit that people should have the right to organize themselves politically depending on their political affinities. This is something they are refusing to do. They like to be the only party without any competition. If they decide to change this status quo it will eventually take them down the road of giving up power by real democratic means to others with different solutions to the Cuban problem. I particularly think the current leadership will never go there. They are too enamored of the honey of power.

  • April 22, 2011 at 8:41 am
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    Samy, It’s called skin in the game. You tell me why it gets to you. Maybe just maybe the Cuban people can come up with a functional new form of government the whole world can copy.

  • April 22, 2011 at 12:31 am
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    Erasmo, I don’t know if it is possible now in your country, but perhaps you could become a cooperative entrepreneur. This is where you would go out and find a need in Cuban society, organize dependable persons who wish to own their own enterprise, and launch a worker-associate owned business. It might be a restaurant–sit-down or fast food–translation service, or some other enterprise that Cubans need.

    The entrepreneurial share of such a cooperative would need to be higher than regular shares, because that larger share would give the incentive and recompense to motive your work and leadership genius. That is, you would combine material and moral incentives and build something of socialist and personal value for your co-owners.

    As the entrepreneurial leader however you would still have equal voice and vote with other cooperators because one member, one voice and vote” is a fundamental principle.

    Think it over. There is nothing like owning your own productive property and being the master of your own destiny. This is what the socialist movement was all about before Engels and Marx redefined it as the state owning everything in sight. Good luck.

  • April 22, 2011 at 12:27 am
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    Maybe you all can help me, why does it annoy me when Cubans critique their gov’t or situation foreigners automatically revert to comparing Cuba with either their home country (US, Canada, Europe etc) and the various problems and injustices that exist in these countries…or they compare Cuba to other “3rd world” nations like Haiti, Dominican Republic or The Congo…at least you don’t live there.

    Why does this annoy me so much ?

    Its like your saying that Cubans shouldn’t strive for something better. Just because someone in Cuba has a complaint about their system doesn’t mean that they don’t know or acknowledge that there are problems elsewhere.

  • April 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm
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    Addressing #10 Julio yes some do care. If you are correct and the whole country does not care what others think we are destine to implode. As for the rest see #12 i could not have addressed it better. Raul’s rant I could point to plagiarism of a sort, but its just to late night for that. I celebrate the Cuban peoples ability to do what they want. It is getting harder every day in the States to do that and pay all the taxes, insurances, overhead etc. its just about a days work to pay load.

    Addressing #11 I have- believe me the sheets that looked more like cheese cloth tell a story. I have stayed in many (rural) home and the finest hotels the country has to offer. I would leave the island with a great since of sadness for many reasons. One being the Cuban people really don’t understand some of the happiness that will be lost when change comes to the island. This U.S. capitalistic crap truly isn’t even good for the so called winners. Let alone the very poor (which is growing by the millions) and working class. I am not contra to anyone setting it straight when people are being suppressed anywhere. Please understand Erasmos troubles are heard and that there are people who care and are watching this type of repression and working spending time studying new concepts for others to consider to make life easier and more fulfilling around the world.

    Addressing #Michael Thank you. Truth be known Erasmos and I are most likely cut from the same material.
    O by the way I’m scared too.

  • April 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm
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    OK Michael let me see if I understand correctly what you just recommended to Erasmo.
    You basically asked him to be dishonest and to lie. To be double faced. Right?
    I know the great majority of cubans do behave that way to survive in that system but here we have Erasmo that decided to follow an honest path. Why should he go in the same wrong path that everyone else goes? Even if it is a majority it does not make it right.
    I think Erasmo is doing the right thing by being honest. The system needs to change to create space for him. He is special, he got something that many others lack, in the same situation.
    Why should he change?

    I think your way of thinking Michael is the same way many cubans do. That explains many of the problems they face.

    The system as it is stimulates people to be dishonest !
    Honesty does not pay in Cuba.
    Maybe that also explains corruption and many other evils of society that are really acute today in Cuba.

  • April 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm
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    In assessing your skills, Erasmo, one of your greatest is teaching students how to think critically and how to become self-motivated explorers of our universe. Too bad the system there is throwing so many roadblocks in the path to practicing this skill. What Harry is trying to say is that there are similar roadblocks here, too. Our “roadblocks” are more subtle and less overt (although when someone is a real threat to the system, repression is as harsh). It seems to me that in Cuba the authorities take intellectuals far more seriously, whereas here those that don’t “tow the line” are largely ignored or marginalized (although this may now be changing, as the authorities no longer have as much control over the media as they once did, since it has become more diffuse; hence more democratic. They are making every effort now to bring it back under their control.) As Rousseau once said: “Everywhere man yearns for freedom, yet everywhere he is in chains!” As true now as when he said it in the 18th Century!
    In any event, good luck on the job front! I’d pick and choose my battles, though! No need to be so up front with the bureaucrats about what you would or would not do given a hypothetical situation (e.g. participation in the “rapid response” brigades). If you are a good, concientious and dependable worker, often enough this will be of greater value to your colleagues–and boss–and when cruch time comes, they may side with your or, if forced to fire you, at least become acutely aware of the injustice of the situtation.

  • April 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm
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    Next time your on your $3,000/person Global Exchange tour of Cuba, slip away and live with a Cuban family for a few weeks. See how people manage to survive day to day within the bureaucracy. How it is virtually impossible to live on a government wage, how people learn to maneuver and struggle, how many will repeat empty slogans to move up and keep their jobs. See how people will lie to your face when go to visit the CDR on your guided tour..and then go home to find that the oil is low and so is the money, see how people reconcile and survive.

    Can you survive on $30.00/month ? Do you want me to list the items available on the libreta and those you can only buy in hard currency ? Believe me, I know the US has its hardships. But what I never understood is how the left, who is so quick to condemn every fault of the US government is unwilling to acknowledge that Cubans living in Cuba should have the very same right … to critique their government. I condemn my government all the time, and when my boyfriend (and my other friends in Cuba) condemn theirs I agree with them.

    I am a socialist, my boyfriend is too. He says he wants Cuba to be what Marti, Che and Camilo wanted. He is angry because the bureaucracy stole that dream from the people. And he has every right to believe that…just as I have every right to believe and say that my government is just as corrupt. But the difference is that if my boyfriend makes his politics known at work, he will be fired.

  • April 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm
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    Harry
    As far as I know nobody here in the US cares about how any other individual thinks from a political point of view. On less that person becomes a politician and that’s were politics and ideology plays a role.

    In the case of Erasmo. He is not looking to run for office or anything else. He is simply looking for a job. He gets punished for expressing what he thinks. Specially when what he thinks goes against the grain of the political elite.

    Nobody here care if I agree or disagree with Obama’s policies. I will be just one of the millions who like some of his policies or dislike some others. One more of a big group. Do you see the difference?

    There in Cuba many do think like Erasmo but because the regime represses them and they are afraid of consequences then they are really in hiding their true belives. So they may be in top political positions but they do not believe in the system. Believe me I know because I was there for 26 years and have seen quite a lot. From the corrupts to the ones taking advantage of the system.

    On the other hand you have the few honest leftist like Erasmo. Who have I believe a good sense of Justice.
    And who also like to speak freely what he really think and who wishes the same freedom for others. You may noticed he is not even pro capitalist. He will be consider very leftist since he still believe in the system but he seem to still be black listed.

    Now if you really follow Raul’s speech. I think this is the kind of things he was talking about. The inertia and so on. Because this is the way they used to isolate people that dare question the system. But then again many of what was said in the congress will be gone soon. Cubans have this ability to do what they want and not what they are asked to do.

  • April 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm
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    Julio O I get it! May or may not have problems ???? come on. I am all for Erasmo and his plight. ” Pure ideological type” do you mean like republicans, democrats or just plan thieve n capitalist? Don’t you get what I am pointing out? There is little difference in the way the countries are run the exception is wealth nothing else.
    Are countries are so the same like never before. Yes my friend I do get it!

  • April 21, 2011 at 9:59 am
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    Harry What is your point?

    The fact that the US may or may not have problems should not invalidate anything that Erasmo and Samy are talking about.
    It should not happen that people with a lot of education should only find jobs design for people with very low skills specially if the reason why this is happening is because the person in question is not of the “pure ideological type” the regime craves for. Here again we see the regime doing what it does best.
    Alienate people. Make opposition even out of leftist free thinkers.
    Exclusion Exclusion and Exclusion
    That is and have been the mantra of the Elite.
    Do you get it.

  • April 21, 2011 at 6:33 am
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    Respond #5 Samy Sorry, once again you just described the new USA. Advance degrees come a dime a dozen here. Are you paying attention to what has taken place in the United States? This country is wrecked maybe too a point of no return. The difference is what one calls the goon squad. I kid you not Samy in #5 I wonder if you had the countries turned around.

  • April 21, 2011 at 1:11 am
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    Erasmo, I don’t blame you…if my options for work were so limited I would take my precious time on this planet and follow my dreams, rather than sell my soul to the bureaucracy.

  • April 21, 2011 at 1:09 am
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    It does not happen in the US…where a person with an advanced degree will be forced to work security for $20.00 a month because they refuse to agree to ideological purity ?!

    I met with the people who run the CTC (Cuban Trade Union), not with my boyfriend, but on a delegation to Cuba with my US based trade union. It was a meeting of international solidarity and it was interesting, certainly. But, if there was one thing I came away knowing for sure, it was that the CTC is not a trade union. It is another bureaucratic system of control, it does not represent the workers, it represents the employer (the Cuban state) and it does not have the best interest of the Cuban people and Cuban workers at heart. This is the “union” that is working with the Cuban state to layoff 500,000 people. That will not hire you unless your “records” are politically clear of any ideological blemishes. Is this marxism or socialism ? Certainly not. I jokingly asked my boyfriend if he felt alienated from his labor in Cuba…he laughed and said “of course”.

    The only good thing about this whole situation is that the people no longer need to CTC to find work or make money. The best wages can be found by working on the black market, which is why the state is now attempting to legalize and control the “private sector”. But again, this is a farce, because the real goal is control rather than emancipation. In order to open a business (or legalize your pre-existing black market business) you need to hire at least one employee. Will these employees be represented by a union ? No. Will they have rights at work ? No…of course not. The goal of the state is not, and has never been the liberation of the Cuban people…but to control them and make a few bureaucrats rich. The workers still work and produce profits which are extracted from them and pocketed by wealthy Cubans and foreign investors. even the two cornerstones of the revolution (the heath and education systems) are deteriorating…

  • April 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm
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    Erasmo Hey sorry to tell you but the same shit goes on up here in the good o’l USA.

  • April 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm
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    Samy,
    this is one thing that really bother me when I used to be there.
    They change the meaning of words.
    Voluntary means out of your own will. It means there will be no consequences if you choose not to participate in that activity that is voluntary.
    In Cuba the regime does have a different semantics for the word voluntary. As you say one of the consequences could be the termination of employment or them not giving you a recommendation or many other consequences.
    So why then call this voluntary?

    Are the doctors who travel to Venezuela, Jamaica and other countries do this out of their own free will?
    I think not.
    Many do it out of necessity and many because if they do not they will be expel from their work.
    This horrible system should disappear.
    It should not be called “voluntary work”
    it should be call “mandatory unpaid work”.
    of course that does not sound good. Because it reminds us of slave who have not say onto what they as persons should do. Those at the top make the decisions for them.
    Horrible!

  • April 20, 2011 at 2:20 am
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    You sound like my boyfriend in Centro Habana…you should hang out together and share stories about acquiring and loosing jobs 🙂

    Although, seriously. I was visiting Cuba last year when my boyfriend was looking for work. He was working in construction at the time and wanted to get out. So he applied for an auto mechanic position through the CTC. We must have gone back to the CTC 8 or 9 times over the course of a month before they finally offered him a job. This was after he had to submit his entire educational record, a letter of recommendation from the local CDR and (clean) criminal background check. He got the job but was fired 5 months later for refusing to do voluntary work on the days when he usually takes responsibility for his young daughter. He felt indignant about working 5 days a week, sometimes at night (standing watch) for 300pesos/month…and then being required to work for free and miss seeing his daughter.

    This angered me just as much as him, because I saw how hard he worked to get the job and how in the end he fell back into doing construction and “inventing”. Its awful when someone is actually trying to find work to make money and support their family….but the system sets them up to fail.

  • April 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm
    Permalink

    Erasmo
    What a pity that the regime in our country does not notice your talents, your honesty, your valor.
    It takes a lot of courage to be critical of the system or to at least speak what you think with candor.
    It is really their lost.
    If you need any references from a “counter-revolutionary”
    Please, let me know. 🙂

    Seriously. I wish you the best. You truly deserve a better government.
    A government that does not exclude their citizens because they think different.
    Maybe some day soon.

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