Cuba Is In Motion

Beer as cold as the heart of your Ex. 150 pesos

By Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Weekly)

HAVANA TIMES – The Cuba of a year ago is not the same as today. That bureaucratic inertia that had half the island in a state of shock, in a painful state of uncertainty in multiple orders, has slowly begun — I insist that at a snail’s pace — to disappear to finally follow that wise advice from the pope as well as that of kings and others that Cuba “open to the world.”

And it is not that I am looking into a crystal ball, only politicians make those types of promises, or I don’t pretend to be a corner psychic, or whatever the reader can imagine, but the movement is noticeable, perceived, you can sniff it.

Where we are going is another matter entirely. I leave that for the reader as a mental exercise for the wise, scholars and the audacious with words and ink.

One small detail, perhaps insignificant and hopefully not silly. I see with surprise that everywhere there is a sign announcing cold beer and I can’t help but remember that emblematic scene from “The Godfather,” where Michael Corleone sees a clandestine July 26 combatant immolate himself and instantly wonders in whose hands will the future of the island land.

With so much heat, the disappeared beer reappears like the Phoenix and not via the state, but through the private sector, through those so-called “new economic actors.” The only regret, in addition to the price, is that they are not Cuban because of the “mine first” thing. Namely, how many problems does the poor beer can have, whether there is a lack of financing, technology, debts with the raw material supplier, lack of labels and plates, or that the brewmasters are now cooks in a private restaurant because they earn more.

There you’ll find them, in the most unexpected places, turning a corner or the middle of the block, calling customers on improvised cards or in other ways. Some, with popular wit and splashes of marketing like those who claim to be colder than an ex’s heart.

Sure there is movement. Well, a Galileo Galilei of these times said it with the same words: “And yet, it moves.” I hope that the beer miracle is also, for example, that of milk. It would be noticeable and I would appreciate the movement even more…

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