The Worst Things about Capitalism

Nonardo Perea

Foto: Juan Suarez
Foto: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — I’ve drawn up a small list which could have been endless, in which I’ve written down the worst things I’ve seen about capitalism.

Please take note that I use the 12 days I spent in the Czech Republic as my reference, the only capitalist country that I have had the opportunity to visit.

  • When they tell you you have to be somewhere at 9 a.m. in the morning and you have to get there five minutes beforehand. This is unbearable. In Cuba, we’re used to arriving half an hour late, it’s normal here, and then we justify our lateness with any silly old excuse, like for example: the alarm didn’t go off or I had a stomach ache, etc.
  • People smile at you, and depending on what time of day it is, they can say “good morning” or “good evening” to you. How awful it is to waste ones breath every living minute! Here, this type of greeting ended a long time ago, only some strange critters keep on practicing this courtesy.
  • How clean the streets are, which is terrible, because they’re so clean that it makes you want to cry, and the best thing about it is that it reminds you of our own streets, more specifically my own streets in Marianao, where we have a garbage heap as well as a defense committee on every block.
  • The food, how disgusting, is so varied and cheap that you’ll end up wanting to eat Cuba’s rice and beans, why would you need to try new flavors? This implies a large gustatory effort, by the way, which is very counter-revolutionary.
  • The transport is the worst thing of all! A metro that passes by every 2 minutes and the trams come every three to four minutes. A disaster, at some point I thought that the result of so many trams moving at the same time could cause some kind of accident. Personally, I prefer to wait 10 or 20 minutes for a bus, or chase after one, or walk where I’m going which is much healthier.
  • You can dress as you please, even put a bowl on your head, and nobody will shout insults at you; people are too respectful over there, they don’t care what you’re like, they make you feel free. I felt completely invisible, I prefer that they shout atrocities and throw stones at me, and that there isn’t a lot of freedom, it’s much more enjoyable.

7 thoughts on “The Worst Things about Capitalism

  • I think Mele that your statement to include Latins in general being “closer” than those of other European countries is rather sweeping and thus inaccurate but I do agree that in Cuba “la familia” is an essential form of closeness to enable survival. Perhaps the two main “successes” of the Castro regime have been the increasing need for la familia to aid and support each other, and music. They are both free!

  • All you say about greetings and smiles is not true nowadays. People are closer in Cuba or any latin american country or even in Spain than other countries of Europe.

  • Brilliant, Elio, are you reading this?

  • Marvellous! I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Prague.

  • Being truthful about the differences between a free country and Castros communist Cuba isn’t funny!

  • I wasn’t expecting a parody to describe the “ills” of capitalism, but it was nonetheless an effective comparison between life in Cuba and a country that was not too long ago behind the iron curtain.

  • hihih, you are funny!

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