What the System in Cuba Teaches Us

Nonardo Perea

Black beans at the neighborhood ration book store.

HAVANA TIMES — When I was young kid and went to a rural boarding school, I remember that every time a visit from the municipal authorities was announced, the school’s directors would hurry to paint the school facade, get students to clear up the common areas, and in the blink of an eye. That is, everything that was a complete disaster was transformed into something wonderful.

I remember that during those visits, lunches and dinners were a lot more delicious and varied than normal, because most of the time all we were given was rice, chicharros (a type of peas) with worms included and a boiled egg, a dish we would call the “three musketeers”.

Our happiness didn’t last, and once the big shots were out of sight, everything went back to how it used to be, and the school was a disaster again. That’s where I learned the importance of lying, of making people see what isn’t real, of creating a fake reality in the eyes of others.

I was never a good student, I hardly ever studied, and when it came to the exams, I rarely knew the answers, but I wasn’t the only one, that’s why we were given a helping hand. The teachers would take us to a desk, we would sit down and we’d been given a test that had already been done so that we could copy it. We all passed with flying colors, in the end.

That’s how we made our parents happy at the end of the year, and how our teachers proved that they were doing their educational job well.

Today, after so many years, I suspect that lots of lies are told on the news and in the media, when features are made about abundant farm production, where everything is working miraculously well, and I know that’s not the case.

Lies have always been present because it’s something we’ve been taught to do ever since we were little. From a young age we are made aware not to tell the whole truth, because that could become a problem for you.

Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

15 thoughts on “What the System in Cuba Teaches Us

  • July 14, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Deception, with the excepción of surprise birthday parties, is never “ok”.

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    “Strategy to defend Cuba” ?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe you should read my post again. Where exactly does it say this was ok????

    if you were to draw a conclusion, it would be that corrupt politicians in government aren’t a “problem” particular to Cuba. Yeah, Really.

  • July 8, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    You dann obviously deliberately distort what I wrote. I did not say that “the wishes of the people” elected him (Trump(f)). I did say that the wishes of the people limit his time in office.
    However, you become quite fatuous in suggesting that the people of Cuba could dethrone Raul Castro. That is as obviously fallacious. Raul Castro is a dictator and Head of the military. There has not been one single open election in Cuba since the Castros imposed communism.

  • July 8, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Is your strategy to attack Cuba by implying that “Lie, lie, lie” is something that is not an everyday occurrence in all so-called democracies (and in particular the USA)? Does that make it ok?

  • July 8, 2017 at 1:26 am

    It’s funny how we always get back to this, isn’t it? M. Patterson wants to present “Lie, lie, lie” as a characteristic of so-called “authoritarian regimes,” but when I point out that it’s hard to find a head of state who lies as much as the present leader of the so-called free world, lying stops being important.
    C. MacDuff wants to focus on something other than “Lie, lie, lie,” i.e. the widespread delusion that “the wishes of the people” are what made Trump president of the USA – in spite of the fact that a majority of voters didn’t want him to rule the USA. So much for the US American way of persuading the ‘will of the people’ to hand over power to a commander in chief, in this case billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump.
    So “eight years is the maximum” in the USA? Yes, according to the US constitution it is, but so what? It isn’t in most other democracies, and it isn’t in my own constitutional monarchy (of which I’m no big fan), and I don’t see why it should be so in Cuba. It may come as a surprise to MacDuff and Patterson, but “the time in power” for heads of state is ALWAYS “limited by the people.” If enough Americans were to decide to put an end to Trump’s presidency, they could end it tomorrow – with or without the constitution. And so could Cubans if they wanted to dethrone Raúl Castro.
    That Cubans have decided to appoint their head of state in a way that makes it difficult for billionaires to buy presidencies is not something that seems to upset the Cubans I know, but I never met Macduff’s family, of course.

  • July 6, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    It is not for me to defend the American Constitution dann. My personal view is that if I were an American citizen I would lobby for it to be brought up to date. For example, the ‘right to bear arms’ which results in over 12,000 people a year being shot dead. Obviously you would like to change the system of electing a ‘college’ to decide the Presidency. Trump(f)’s time in power however is limited by the people. Eight years is the maximum. No such restrictions are applied under Communism in Cuba. That is the difference, it has nothing to do with whether Trump(f) is a narcissistic bully boy, or whether Raul Castro is an executioner, although both descriptions are accurate.

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