A Red Scooter in Cuba

Osmel Almaguer

Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Dec 27 — My mother’s scooter is red not only in color, but also because it belongs to the socialist state, that being an abstraction of what we are all supposed to be a part. That’s why the scooter doesn’t belong to her. This contradiction of socialist property is something I’ve always found more difficult to understand than the Holy Trinity.

There are many scooters like my mother’s in the streets. There are scooters and motorcycles of all colors, yet they’re all “red.” Most of them are in poor condition; with it assumed that in the workplaces that provide them, there simply isn’t money for maintenance.

People repair them the best they can, using their own money. They need them to get around, given how difficult the transportation situation is.

Most of them are old, having undergone five, ten, twenty or more years of use. I understand that some of them that are manufactured in Eastern Europe are still being imported today, as is the world famous Lada, the car that’s imported from Russia.

My mother is one of the few honest people I know. She’s not chauvinistic and doesn’t tend toward exaggeration.

She’s incapable of stealing the smallest thing from her job, where’s she’s been a manager for five years. And I should point out that the moral codes have transformed out of necessity in recent years here, with people becoming more tolerant of the “diversion” (theft) of government resources.

Therefore my mother’s red scooter continues to operate thanks to the charity of her friends. Not even the gasoline that she’s allocated by her job is enough to get her around to her various work functions.

At this very moment the rear tire assembly, with all its components, need to be changed, it’s completely worn out. The tire alone — without counting the inner tube or the metal rim — costs about 30 or 35 CUCs (about $35 or $40 USD), the money equivalent to two or three months of work.

One thought on “A Red Scooter in Cuba

  • Tienes una lista de los modelos que se venden en Cuba y los motores que utilizan? De repente podemos ayudar.

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