Cuba: Giving Up Revolutionary Pleasures

By Martin Guevara

Photo: Stan Raucher

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba has entered a new and encouraging stage in the building of a new kind of socialism, a system notably different from that “real socialism” it once tried to force into the relaxed and festive Caribbean spirit of Cubans.

What will the Party’s Central Committee do to change the whole range of tastes that are deeply rooted in the revolutionary, austere and nearly ascetic spirit they claim took hold of Cubans’ collective desires after the revolution?

For more than half a century, Cubans looked down at the vice-ridden ways and customs of the capitalist world with contempt. As such, rather than endure their situation, they were happy with only one pair of shoes, a stoic jar of water in their fridges, a sunk mattress impaled by springs and having to co-exist with mosquitos and cockroaches instead of employing an environmentally unfriendly bug repellent.

It is therefore important to forewarn visitors and hapless tourists, those who are unaware of the aesthetic parameters and the heights of sacrifice of the Cuban people, such that they do not confuse the pastel-colored ruins, the drunk vagrants, the minimalist fashion, footwear and lifestyles, with any kind of problems, so that they understand this is a sovereign and thought-out decision by the people of Havana, who would rather see their once intense and photogenic city collapse than witness its development into a comfortable place.

That is where the authentic nature of Cubans lies. Cubans prefer to spend the night in the aged and dilapidated tenements of Havana (known as solares), where, in the form of an identity trait, there is no electricity, no water and no shortage of families.

Photo: Stan Raucher

Because of their adventurous spirits, Cubans enjoy every minute of uncertainty as to whether their roofs will collapse on top of them, something that happens every month in the said tenements.

What’s more, Cubans truly feel consolation, joy, pleasure, even happiness, to know that foreign visitors are resting at a hotel with all of the comforts they could never afford (which they of course also don’t want). Cubans are happy to know their sisters, aunts and even wives leave their homes at night to become the delicacies of foreign visitors, so that they may return to their country with a comprehensive and complete experience of the island.

Cubans hate lobster, all kinds of seafood, good fish, tasty sauces, rum and quality cigars. Of course, they can’t even see beef in pictures and the sight of a juicy steak can sometimes give them a heart attack. Cubans simply hate meat.

Instead, they love that amorphous and pungent mass people call “goose paste,” the revolutionary alternative to perverse bourgeois pleasures advanced by the Comandante, our bearded spiritual leader. Cubans are thrilled by weevil-infested rice, coffee made out of roasted chick-peas, and pizzas with melted condoms for cheese. Cubans are happy as long as they can see foreign visitors (those who enjoy their sisters at night) ingesting all of those taste-filled things that are the enemies of the proletariat, those things many people long to have.

And another thing: Cubans love bicycles, single-speed bicycles preferably, and what they enjoy most is pedaling under the summer’s most intense sun, to go in search of a head of garlic, a handful of nuts and bolts or a can of paint stolen from a State shelf at the other end of the city.

Photo: Stan Raucher

They love waiting for public transportation for hours. It’s not that the system doesn’t work well, Cubans love standing in line and wrestling with others, getting home late and exhausted…and with an empty stomach.

As long as they see foreign visitors traveling comfortably in their rentals and perfect, air-conditioned buses, eating well, drinking the best of the best, having fun with their wives or sisters, bathing at the best beaches, enjoying a game of golf, going scuba-diving, yachting about, then Cubans are happy and feel realized as revolutionaries.

What evil plot could the government now have in store for the people, so that they will begrudgingly give up such delicacies as “goose pate” and weevil-infested rice?

I only beg of them, on behalf of the people of Cuba: let it be anything but the imperialist imposition of lobster and ham!


44 thoughts on “Cuba: Giving Up Revolutionary Pleasures

  • August 4, 2015 at 10:08 am
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    Amén, BJ.

  • August 4, 2015 at 10:05 am
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    The pot calling the kettle black, Mac; you spend a lot of time focusing on me instead of the articles we are discussing because I am the gadfly on your case and you have not been able to counter my postings. Recently you were singing the praises of Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister and his re-election, we all roam in our discussions, you do it regularly and so do I so stop trying to bully John.
    I, however, agree with your advice to John, he should visit Cuba. Also, this will come as a surprise to you, I agree with your observation about lack of tidiness and civic consciousness among many Cubans regarding garbage. It is usually much worse in the rest of the 3rd World. This is also the legacy of slavery, you find it in the African-American neighborhoods all over the USA, you also find it in poor areas all over the world because how can you have civic pride when you live in a hovel, without civic services in a place that discriminates against you?

  • August 4, 2015 at 8:24 am
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    Except that the form of “democracy” you promote has never existed and likely never will as long as human beings continue to want shiny new toys. If you want to tilt at windmills all your life, that’s your choice. It’s almost charming and cute. What’s annoying and ugly is that rather than promote your fantasy democracy by detailing it’s merits, you spend a lot of your time on this blog denigrating the US. The very system that gives you the freedom to live in your la-la-land of socialist utopia. You should visit Cuba for the first time post haste. Spend some time with Cubans who live only off the income they earn working for the Castros (if you can find such a person) and see what your utopia looks like in the real world.

  • August 3, 2015 at 11:26 pm
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    So why is “the time rapidly declining”? Seems to me the best is yet to come.

  • August 3, 2015 at 2:25 pm
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    I would bore you people to tears were I AGAIN to take the time to explain what communism is and isn’t and why free-enterprise capitalism isn’t any better than state capitalism( the only other form of economy).
    You can try to tell me that people do not prefer democracy all you want. It’s just not believable.
    Circles said I was putting you to sleep by repeating the same boring factual details so you just go on and spout.
    Besides, for me it’s like trying to teach a pig to sing: it annoys the pig and it wastes my time. .

  • August 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm
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    Anyone close to me knows that I am always looking to be proven wrong .
    Next to my computer is a sign that actually says ” Always look to be proven wrong”
    This is because my views are in a very small minority and for that reason, I am always considering if I am wrong .
    Really, it would be almost impossible not to do so given the huge amount of opposition I generally receive.
    It IS reality that an overwhelming majority of the people in the USA support free-enterprise capitalism and the form of electoral system that currently exists. i.e. the status quo so, of course I can’t miss the obvious; that most people disagree with me. .
    I’ve lived my life under those same circumstances ever since the 60s , the Cuban revolution and the Vietnam War and believe me I’ve been on a number of forums since the late 90s and since I’ve heard all the opposing arguments many, many times over, I have evolved ready and highly effective answers for most of them because of all the time I do put in checking out my belief systems for holes.
    I just don’t think that I’ll find anything more moral and intrinsically human than democracy
    So it’s been for some 50 years.
    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose .

  • August 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm
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    How did they amass the most wealth? You do see where I’m going with this right? Our system works because, within certain rules and guidelines, people are free to peruse their interests and create wealth and opportunity. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than what’s out there? Yes. Your idea is simply unworkable. Fore example: Much of the technology you take for granted now would not have come about under your preferred system. There would have been no incentive to creat it. It’s human nature. It’s why communism will never work.

  • August 3, 2015 at 11:16 am
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    Estimado Martin- are you implying that solares and cuidadelos are socialist phenomena ? Never heard of places like El Africa ? El Ataud ? Drug and violence saturated buildings w/ hundreds of inhabitants. What about Ilega y Pon ? Not to say that the government hasn’t may gigantic mistakes, but you seem unwilling to recognize any accomplishments.

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