HAVANA TIMES — The title of this article won’t go unnoticed by the Cuban people, at least no Cuban who was born before the ‘90s. This was the end phrase of every cartoon episode which we knew as “Deja que te coja” (Let him catch you).
The wolf used to chase the hare, the leitmotiv of quite a few cartoons, non-stop. Like many other people, I ended up sympathizing with the sad wolf, who had the attractive “bad boy” look, and I would even say fans of rock music loved him. I felt the hare was more insipid, with his eyes of a well-mannered Russian doll and his sporty rabbit look.
Now, I like wolves and hares the same. I know, hares aren’t the same as rabbits.
But that’s what you have to explain to Maduro and Freddy Bernal, the former police chief who is now responsible for the biggest political and economic scam in Venezuela at this point in time: the CLAP distribution of basic foods.
Given the fact that no Venezuelan government has implemented, ever since the damned existence of oil was discovered, measures which truly strengthen agriculture and support small farmers; today, we can’t talk about self-sufficiency or food independence. Criminal groups have taken control of the country’s fields, abandoned little by little by the farmers. Cattle rearing – combined with the vast amounts of land that their owners need – is also attacking any real development in the agricultural sector.
Allegedly, the CLAP, who I have spoken about on several occasions, are self-sufficient. The question is, how? Products that are delivered in packets, if they aren’t from the Polar company, come from Mexico or any other country. Inflation is so rapid that even eggs can’t “save the day” for the Venezuelan people. There they are, just like every other product that was almost impossible to find at the market last year, but their price is going up every day and becoming even more unaffordable.
And what is the president and CLAP leader’s answer to this inflation, lack of circulating money, medicine shortages and unbridled crime?
In the ‘90s, the answer for many Cubans, apart from throwing themselves out to sea or making a grapefruit beef-steak and having sex… (lots of sex) to forget their depression, was to raise farm chickens. They used to sell those small, yellow chicks somewhere, which people used to stick in cages inside their apartments and soon enough, they realized that if they just about had food for themselves, they would hardly have any left over for one or two chickens. These poor animals lived in great pain before getting sick and dying or they had their necks snapped before they reached half a kilo in weight.
I am sure that the same financial advisor is visiting Venezuela and whispering these ideas into his comrades’ ears, and if I was religious, I would call these diabolic ideas, there’s no doubt about that.
Freddy, from CLAP, and Maduro, from Miraflores (the presidential palace), laughed on-screen when the issue of Venezuelans adopting rabbits that were handed to them for raising and eating was discussed. It was a small trial run of “Operation Rabbit”, and then the Miraflores and CLAP comrades got serious, because they have to raise awareness among the Venezuelan people so that they learn that a rabbit isn’t a pet, a rabbit represents a few kilos of meat, sure, because these small animals reproduce “like rabbits”, the man from Miraflores laughed again.
I’m not thinking about the Russian hare and wolf anymore. Now, the picture that pops into my mind is of Alice and the white rabbit who escape running, anxious because they are late, how backward.
Will this white rabbit stop for a brief moment to explain to the advisors, Mr. CLAP and Mr. Miraflores that they are the ones who are backward?
It isn’t time to sit down and raise rabbits. Nor is it time to throw them out into the city, to the hills, communities, like someone who throws out left-overs to the people. It isn’t time to multiply violence by teaching young children that these cute little rabbits aren’t friends to play with, but potential plates of food which, first, need to go under the knife.
It isn’t time to make people look for ways of how to feed an animal which, furthermore, is very delicate and vulnerable to catching many diseases. It isn’t time to create a campaign for Venezuelans to rectify their “cultural problem” – that’s what they call the bad habit of seeing rabbits as pets – and stop eating what the Empire wants to put on their tables.
It isn’t the time to play around with young children and old people’s stomachs. It isn’t the time to spend – or pocket – thousands of dollars by importing rabbits from China or Rabbitland. It isn’t the time to continue supporting meat consumption no matter what the cost, as the foundation of our diets. Nor is it the time to promote animal abuse by placing all of these animals in extremely unideal conditions for their wellbeing.
But, I believe that when they were doing their “Operation Rabbit” trials, one of the first ones to fall in this battle was Alice’s white rabbit, his pocket watch must be hung up in some room at Miraflores, or in the pocket of the CLAP boss, right next to his former police gun.
With regard to the “Deja que te coja” cartoon, the roles have been reversed here in Venezuela. Now, it’s the hare who hides and warns the Venezuelan government… forgive me, the wolf: Nu, pogodi!
PD: On Sunday, the rabbit killers couldn’t put up with the avalanche of jokes and protests that their “Operation Rabbit” sparked. They decided to withdraw this wonderful idea, sabotaged by the opposition. For now, rabbits are off the hook.