Isbel Diaz Torres
HAVANA TIMES — If your dad is a colonel in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of Cuba, no doubt your family had a great Father’s Day. I say this because the husband of a neighbor with this elevated title, around that date received some of the usual privileges they give the military elites on our island.
The FAR gave the officer a case of beer absolutely free, sold him for only US $ 2.50 a bottle of exquisite Havana Club Añejo rum, plus a reservation at Los Doce Apóstoles (TheTwelve Apostles) restaurant in La Cabaña tourist resort.
I am not too sure if the dinner at Los Doce Apóstoles was for Father’s Day because the Colonel and his family go quite regularly to this expensive restaurant to eat at subsidized prices.
In short, all the rewards they deserve for the sacrifices they have made in life.
These perks are of course only a selection of the long list of privileges they receive. For example:
– They give him free 15-day trips every year to the very expensive resort of Varadero.
– When he has health problems, they send him to recuperate in a luxury hotel in the paradise of Topes de Collantes, in the mountainous center of the island.
– As a rule he gets a monthly package of food, including a carton of eggs, chicken, and every two months a gallon of cooking oil.
– Twice a month if he likes he can go and dine at the Casa Central of the FAR, reserved for officers.
– Every year they offer him domestic appliances or furniture for the house, at ridiculously low, subsidized prices.
– From time to time they offer him “brand-name” perfumes, expensive briefcases, backpacks, blankets, etc …all at give-away prices.
My neighbor the Colonel lives in a fully furnished home given to him by the FAR. However, just in case his family gets bigger, he always has the right to exchange it for bigger one, regardless of the millions of Cubans desperately in need of a place to live.
These last few days the colonel has been looking a bit distressed. The last time they handed out the domestic appliances at work, he refrained from asking for another TV, because he is holding out for one of the modern flat screen TVs (LCD) they said were in the pipeline.
I hope it doesn’t take too long to find a solution to this very serious problem of his. A distressed officer could jeopardize national security.