By Safie M. Gonzalez
HAVANA TIMES – If there’s been one issue that has made headlines in Cuba in recent months, it’s not exactly been the famous COVID-19, but increasing prices, from a piece of candy to what Cubans consume the most, “pork”.
However, pork isn’t exactly what I want to talk about in this article. I’d like to dedicate this article today to something that I found on the front page when I opened Google to look something up.
The “generous” Hotel deals for our Cuban people. Before talking about the rates that have been established for the reopening of hotel chains, I’d like to remind those of you who don’t live in Cuba, that access to these hotels has always implied a huge sacrifice for any regular Cuban, which is what we have plenty of here at the end of the day.
Going to a hotel anywhere in the world might be a luxury, I agree, but a great percentage of the population is able to travel and spend a week with their family in a hotel, at least once a year.
Not Cubans though, they can break their backs working and never be able to go to a hotel, much less now when food prices are through the roof, and you only have two options to buy a change of clothes and a pair of shoes: the first option, having a MLC (foreign currency) card or buying them for an exorbitant price from people who travel and bring back merchandise.
Within this context, I believe that even thinking about spending a couple of days at any hotel on our idyllic island is a utopia, quite frankly. Especially if we bear in mind that the price for 4 nights and 2 people, for example, can vary anywhere between 12,154 pesos to 48,616 pesos. (Officially the exchange is 24 pesos to 1 USD.)
It seems absurd, right? Especially if we bear in mind the fact that the minimum wage for workers is 2,200 pesos per month, which might seem like a lot to anyone not living on the island, but believe me, this money vanishes on food, on payday alone.
It’s not a matter of being ambitious either, the conclusion is simple for anyone reading this article, whether they are Cuban or living in another country. It doesn’t matter whether we are university students or skilled workers, everyone should have the chance to enjoy some “decent” holiday time, why not? Especially when we have such beautiful beaches and so many hotels on our idyllic island.