By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – I recently stumbled across a Latin American forum with opinions about Cubans’ quality of life. The reality is we have a bad reputation. For a long time now, many neighbors have been warning that the romanticism of that ideal of social justice that was pushed forward after 1959, is nothing more than a great scam.
However, what really caught my attention was the fact that there are always these hypocritical Lefties who continue to fervently defend an illusion of paradise that has nothing to do with reality. There are less and less of them, but they are still there, pretending to theorize about Marxist ideas while they enjoy all of the benefits of the capitalism they condemn so wholeheartedly, but which they don’t leave.
It would be good for them to immigrate here because the situation is becoming more and more unsustainable. It seems as if we were taking great strides towards becoming one of those dystopian societies that some science fiction novel describes. Or have we already become that?
There are brutal shortages in every market, store, even USD stores, here on the island. Basic essentials can no longer be easily found, not even on the illicit market.
To paint you a clearer picture: there is almost no rice, no beans, meat, milk, and a long etc. This is why there are extremely long lines to buy food, with subsequent crowds, that have become a daily phenomenon. There isn’t any transport either or building materials… everything is paralyzed. There aren’t even lightbulbs. Writing up a list of everything we don’t have would be way too long. If you find something you have to pay an exorbitant price for it and give thanks to the High Almighty for you being so lucky. Repression is what we have a lot of here.
As if this wasn’t enough, COVID-19 infections are rising at an uncontrollable rate. We have over 1000 new cases every day, with the sad result of many deaths. All of this threatens to send the Cuban health system into collapse.
It’s important to clarify that this figure has to be taken with a pinch of salt, because you can never be sure of how reliable statistics are in a country where every number becomes a matter of State because of the politicization that saturates every sphere of national life.
This is where we see the leadership of illuminated ones who hold all political power, insisting on blaming the general population for such a complex problem like the serious epidemiological crisis we’re facing.
Leaders who in the middle of this disastrous situation have just held a Communist Party congress, where they discussed issues that have nothing to do with the Cuban people’s most pressing needs. A congress which for the vast majority, who are living an everyday struggle to survive, is completely irrelevant. It means shit all.
Aside from that, people are fed up after a year of restrictions and increasing poverty levels, and they are setting all of their hopes on one of these vaccines that have been promoted for months now.
The only encouraging piece of news is that a mass vaccination campaign will kick off in Havana at any moment, and it will then extend to the rest of the country. Let’s hope it is a complete success, even though we have to swallow a tremendous propaganda campaign that will give the government political returns, there’s no doubt about that. Let’s hope, even if we are still without medicines after this… by the way, there is an outrageous scabies epidemic right now with nothing to treat it.
Not to mention the precarious situation of medical services in this so-called global medical power. It’s not easy to find a specialist, nor can you get a cavity seen by a dentist. Let’s hope that the decline of these services, due to the priority that has been given to the battle against COVID-19, disappears with the vaccination campaign.
Let’s hope, but the saddest thing is that this total poverty won’t disappear, nor will the shameless manipulation of the official press, and the absence of basic freedoms.
This is how we Cubans are living, punished by the disgusting policies that are the result of the US embargo and the domestic blockade of a long dictatorship that has turned us all into hostages.
This is what life is nowadays.
Things are getting worse every day that passes.
We just have to survive.