The Cuba We Want

Rosa Martinez

Surviving. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — Without a doubt, the Cuba we have today is not the one most Cubans dream of. This is true of Cubans living here and even more so of those living abroad.

Monthly salaries aren’t even enough to cover the most basic human needs (food, hygiene articles and clothing) and workers are forced to commit crimes, lie and cheat others to be able to give their families what they need.

A professional must work abroad on a government mission so that, in two or three years’ time, they can buy what they could never get their hands on back home, not even working away their whole lives.

Dozens of young people leave the country every day through different and sometimes extremely dangerous means, such as taking to the sea on makeshift rafts or crossing the vast American continent to reach US soil (the Cuban Dream many never reach, for they die trying), as they do not identify with the current government and do not feel their demands are even considered.

High-performance athletes are not the only ones who leave the country in search of million-dollar contracts. Medical doctors (some of them lured to abandon their commitments in Caribbean countries through the United States’ fast visa program), engineers, technicians, the self-employed, home keepers, young and old, are also leaving.

The world has changed and we have stayed behind in different technological areas, such as the Internet. We are one of the least connected countries on the planet and one of the last countries to introduce Wi-Fi services for the public, at one of the highest prices out there.

The freedom to gather, protest, form political parties and disagree with the government still does not exist in our society and these practices are treated like crimes. During a press conference offered by Barack Obama in Havana, Raul Castro said there are no political prisoners in Cuba. I don’t believe this, but the one thing that cannot be denied is that those who think differently are repressed (the images of the arrest of members of the opposition and the mistreatment of the Ladies in White speak for themselves).

I wouldn’t want my daughters to grow up hearing a baker say he had no choice but to steal the oil, flour and sugar with which he was supposed to bake his bread every day, in order to buy a pair of shoes for one of his kids, or that a young man was imprisoned for publishing an article critical of the government.

Many, many things have to improve and others must change in the Cuba I love, but I also don’t want a country in which the owners of airports, hotels, trains, coffee shops and industry are all US companies.

Cuba belongs to Cubans, those here and those there. We must be the onwers, not only of our future, but also our lands, beaches and everything else.

13 thoughts on “The Cuba We Want

  • From what I read at HT, it would appear that Cuba is the only developing/Third World nation that has large amounts of money sent back to it from those who emigrated to the United States.
    President Trump intends to finance his Great Wall of Mexico by interdicting remittances sent by Western Union to Mexico so that’s at least a couple of billion US dollars right there.
    Look, /mira .
    The US installed the embargo to do what it has done: impoverish the entire population .
    It also invites all Cubans and Cubans alone to come and become citizens without waiting for the legal stuff as long as you claim that the Cuban government is abusing you so as to cast a black mark on the revolution .
    That is the specific purpose of the “wet foot, dry foot” clause of the C.A.A,.
    If you welcome Cubans in such an open manner, they, for sure, WILL come and make as much money as they can and send it home to relieve the embargo-induced deprivation.
    SO….the GOUSA either recognizes the obvious truth: that the Cubans are coming here to make money and not because of political repression back home.
    The Cuban people know who’s to blame for their poverty and they are dealing with it in the best way they can without resorting to overthrowing their government and their revolution.

  • Cuba is a Leninist (elite cadre driven) state capitalist (not free enterprise variety) country. It is totalitarian in large part
    It is NOT an oligarchy which is the appropriate name for the government of the United States: rule by the wealthy .
    Cuba is in the economic condition that it is by design.
    The embargo as designed by Under-Secretary of State Lester Mallory back over 55 years ago was implemented by President Eisenhower SPECIFICALLY to impoverish the entire Cuban population to the point that they would blame THEIR government -as you are attempting to do – and overthrow the revolution which is anathema to both free enterprise capitalism and the U.S. imperialism which seeks to enforce it upon the world AS IT HAS DONE for over 100 years.
    I invite you to read “Killing Hope” or visit that website to get an understanding of the fact that Cuba is surviving an attack that very few small countries could .
    The book only lists those interventions between 1945 -1993 or so you will only have some 53 examples of what the GOUSA has done to the world and has been attempting to do to Cuba for 54 years .
    It is a sad statement that you must ignore history in your attempt to validate your nonsense

  • Since 1918 the central thrust of the over 70 U.S. foreign interventions has been to crush any alternative economy to free enterprise capitalism in order that the wealthy may rule the world.
    You might want to read a book or two on this and I would strongly suggest both the website and book ” Killing Hope” .
    If you will read just the introduction to the book you will fully understand that Cuba has faced a crushing economic war on it by the deadliest enemy in world history …….and is surviving .

  • Does Cuba have enemies?

  • Thanks for a well written, poignant and in my opinion brilliant post. Cuba, has a long way to go but from what I can see, the greatest potential that will catapult your country forward will be its people Day at a time….

  • I hate to tell you! But Cuba wont get on it’s feet until the “gusanos” who left bring in the resources to fix all that the Castro oligarchy has destroyed!
    INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Remittances to Cuba The following reports
    provide information on remittances sent to Cuba by Cuban Americans:

    Cuban Emigrés Sent More Than $3.5 Billion in In-Kind Remittances in 2013, by The Havana Consulting Group, July 3, 2014.

    Cuba: $2.6 Billion in Remittances in 2012, by Emilio Morales. Havana Journal, June 11, 2013.

  • y is it that it’s always the best and brightest looking to escape? And when they arrive at the enemies layer they end up sending billions of dollars in remitances to Cuba to keep the regime afloat. So if I were you I’d probably be careful what you say about Cubans in the U.S., they are the ones that keep the cuban economy, such as it is, afloat.

  • The USA I want….who here dares criticise the empire? Cowards..
    Cuba belongs to the Cubans who live in the island, not those who left and/or work for Cuba’s nenemies.

  • ????? Have you ever seen the huge number of Cuban businesses in south Florida? From all the small companies up to Badia Spices or the Billion dollar sugar businesses of the Fanjul family? Oh yes, there is that rum company. Bacardi. All of those came about since the Triumph of the Revolution.

  • Do not worry – The Canadian Prime Minister will visit Cuba shortly.

  • Cubans ought to have the following mindset: what businesses can WE start in the United States?

    Seriously. Cuba actually has a very good ‘brand name’ among at least some American young people … I would be willing to bet that in Music, Fashion, Natural Foods … Cubans could do very well.

  • I have to say, I don’t know very much about any of these countries. Here is my question, is Cuba and Cubans worse off than say, other island countries around it, such as Jamaica, Dominican Republic, etc, etc.. what does it say about foreign ownership, new ideas, democracy, elections..
    thank you

  • There is little chance that the list of services and businesses will be owned by a majority of US companies. However, some foreign ownership would do the country some good. New ideas, untainted by generations of repression and mind control, would offer the Cuban economy a fresh perspective. It’s simple, if Cubans don’t want a foreigner to own a beach, don’t sell it to him.

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