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An Unequal Society in Cuba

by Jennifer

Communism - a sociopolitical movement that aims for a classless society structured upon communal ownership of the means of production and the end of wage labour and private property.
Sounds great in theory but does it work in practise?.

From my travel around Cuba I must say I have great admiration for so many aspects of their wonderful country.
Their excellent healthcare system. One of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. They way they send doctors to the world's poorest countries in times of crisis.

Their excellent education system. Free up to Master's level. Free housing. Cramped though some homes are, at least they do not have the headache of a lifetime's struggle to pay off a mortgage.
However increasingly I am seeing more of an unequal society. The haves and the have nots. I ask myself if Castro's and Guevara's dream on an equal society actually exists when I stay in a hotel and see very well fed well heeled Cubans with their Blackberrys and ipods in tow, paying more than I did for a stay in a four star hotel.

When I see all of the mod cons at a casa I stayed at in Trinidad. The latest hi fi, t.v. internet acess roof terrace owned by a single mother, and around the corner you have some poor family struggling to scrape together their next meal I ask myself if Communism can ever work, or aspire to Karl Marx's ideal society.
Where for example are the black faces in the Communist party? Or in the Embassies around the world. I have yet to spot on Afro Cuban Consulate or Ambassador or Party member.

I do however see lots of Afro Cubans hustling tourists on the streets of Santiago - Jinitero Central, or Havana.

Or sweeping the floors and mopping up in the hotels and washing dishes in the kitchens of restaurants. Never yet seen one running the country or with a Phd or Msc to his name.

Let me give you a classic example of the abuse of power and money within Cuba.
My friend does not have access to the internet at home or at work. He comes from a working class family, his mother is a nurse, father a chef. He works hard in a factory.
He relies on friends who have access at work.
He pays them 1 cuc every time. One is a Doctor who will insist on adding the Msc to all of his emails.
I became suspicious of Dr. Axxxx emails when I found some of them were becoming more explicit than I would want them, knowing they were being read as is every email being read by the State.

From their tone I knew it was not the style of writing or words my friend would use. He has affection for me but also respect.
Last year I planned to visit him. Then I received an email again via Dr. Axxxxx from a man I did not know. The man was saying how he wanted to see me again and could not wait to kiss me etc. I was stunned and presumed it was my friend trying to catch me out, playing a trick on me. So I cancelled the trip to his town.
He wrote to me and assured me he had not sent the email. Then Dr. xxxxx wrote to say it was a mistake the email was meant for someone else that he writes emails for.

This year I plan to visit. I was annoyed to receive an email from Dr. xxxx wife who clearly has too much time on her hands who also sends emails for lots of Cubans for 1 Cuc via the Cuban Healthcare system SLD.
Proporting to be from my friend and always signed in my friend's name the email suggested a great casa, lots of privacy etc. Muy Barata etc. I wrote back to say that this woman's casa got a bad write up on the net and that I had found my own casa thank you.

I was annoyed as I began to think my friend was hustling me. The fact I had paid out almost 600 Euros to get there annoyed me to think that he could see me as a way to hustle a commission on a casa.
Two days ago another email arrives from him via Yxxx using the SLD web sever again. Again in his name and suggesting yet another 'great casa' Muy Barata, Muy Privata etc. etc. Now I was really annoyed as it also included a vulgar reference to kissing me all over and wherever I wanted, or some such tacky tripe.

I wrote back to say I was annoyed that I was being seen as a Yuma to make a commission and how disapponted I was. I also wrote to him at the other email add. he uses. He responded to me to say he had no access to the net all week and he had not written the last email.

I was furious I wrote to Yxxxx directly and called her nothing more that a '5 Peso Puta' out to make a buck for a foreigner.
I added a few more angry words and told her I had blocked her and if she contacted me again I would copy all of her grubby emails and send them to the Minster for Health in Havana to let them know how she was abusing their website.

An hour later two more emails arrived from her to my spam box. both were abusive to me and she ranted on that she was a respectable mother and wife to an MSc Doctor and not a Jinitera etc. etc. I blocked her yet again!.

Yesterday and today I have received no less than 5 emails from Dr. xxxxx. proclaiming his professionalism and status as a Doctor Msc etc.
I wrote back to say that I did not know him. I did not want to know him or his crazy wife.
That he must be sick to have been doing what he has been doing, not only by inventing the fake email from a man I did not know, but including vulgar references in the email purporting to be from my friend.

I said he was a pervert and I would block him and send his emails to the Cuban Health Ministry to show them how their Doctors were abusing their system by charging poor Cubans and then altering the copy.
Che Guevara did not give his life so that State money could be wasted training Doctors to Masters Degree level so they could sit on their culo all day abusing the health care system making money from sending emails illegaly.

My point is that Cuba is far from an equal society. When you have Cretins like Dr.xxxx and his crazy wife sending out emails all day via the state system instead of working and more disturbingly trying to break up relationships in the process.

Sadly the class system did not die with Castro.
The abuse of the poor by the priveleged elite is alive and well in Cuba of today.

Comments by Vic webmaster

Whaw what a story, but let me make some remarks.
First things first. Yes, there is a growing unequal society in Cuba. There are Cubans with a 400 peso Cubano salary (approx.20 USD) and Cubans that receive money from abroad (family, friends etc).
This money from abroad is very much needed in Cuba. Most of the money from abroad is used to buy in the Dollar shops, to buy hifi, dvd's, TV sets, clothing, food etc. The Cuban government gets a lot of money (taxes) out of these shops, money used to subsidize the food rations and free health care etc. You can't build a social paradise on an economic cementery. That's the real tragedy in Cuba, they have neglected the economy. The biggest surprise these days came from FIDEL CASTRO he made a declaration:
"That even in Cuba the communist system didn't work!"
The expectations are that the Cuban goverment will reduce the State control on the economy and allow more private enterprise. A prosperous country is a nation with a broad middle class.
There will always be extremes on both sides high and low. This is a universal law, called the Pareto rule. The challenge is to keep both extremes manageable.

In Cuba it's a common practice, to sell passwords
for internet access on the black market and to earn a few dollars from this illegal activity. That's why you get email messages from several different accounts. It's illegal, but I hear Cubans saying we live in a communist system everything is from everybody.
And let's be honest, the internet time stolen in Cuba is peanuts compared to the internet time stolen in our "wealthy" Western world. Many European companies report millions of lost euro's due to employees following social networksites like Facebook during their worktime. That's theft too! and many companies have blocked access or are monitoring the internet!
NOTE All names in your message are deleted to protect the privacy of the person.

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Mar 11, 2015
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by: Rollando

There are different types of people in the word and thus we should always expect some negative from what we think also. Not everyone thinks the way you do and all of them have their own unque ways to getting to know about things. BG Sprayers

Sep 15, 2010
Well Done Raul!
by: Donna

Any of us who has travelled to Cuba can testify to the 'Can't Be Assed' attitude of the state sector workers.

The worst ofenders are the front desk receptionists who are employed at Cubanacan and Izlasul Hotels or most hotels for that matter.

Their arrogance and contempt for the customer is apparent at every check in desk in Cuba.

They are more concerned with checking their make up or hardo in a mirror than the long line forming at the desk.

They are snappy and seething with contempt for the tourist whom they resent with a vengance. They see us as rich spoilt Westerners only here to steal their men.

Well they are welcome to their work shy loafers. What woman in her right mind would want to inherit such lazyass excess baggage for life.

But the arrogance goes way beyond the reception desk. All too often you will be unable to find the hotel manager if you have a concern.

He has been up until 3am trying to keep up with his young wife half his age who is Reggaethon obsessed so the hotel manager is so desperate to stay young that you'll rarely find him in the hotel before 4pm. He's been sleeping off the effect of the night before at Club Mambo.

The same arrogant indifference is to be found at Cuban Embassies and Consulates worldwide.

I know, I was once kept waiting for over an hour by the Culture Sec. who failed to give a reason or to apologise. Just smiled sweetly and did f.... all about my proposal that a world class band perform at the 26th July celebratons. No follow up Nada!.

They will keep you waiting for over an hour and fail to apologise. If you expect them to follow up, forget it.

They have placed your query or concern in the 'Can't Be Assed' File alongside all other Cuban Embassy and Consulate business.

Sep 15, 2010
About Time Raoul Tackled The Workshy!
by: Bill

In Cuba it seemed that once you had a job, it was for life.

Yesterday that all changed with the announcement that Raul Castro was about to shed prune down let go a large percentage of the bone idle who work in the State sector.

Raul said the country could no longer continue to carry, pay the bone idle who work for the State. So there will be massive lay offs.

By coincdence on the same day out Fire Chief echoed Castro's word by saying 'It's Time To Tackle The Bone Idle In The State Sector'.

We have a top heavy civil service. Idler who sit on their arses all day long and do nothing, apart from log ono to Facebook or Twitter and send personal emals.

In Cuba they are making a killing by pocketing money from poor Cubans to send emails.

Riddled with the bone idle and fraud. Fire chief's devastating verdict on public sector

Fire chief Tony Mc Guirk said he has been able to slash staff numbers and increase productivity

'More with less': Fire chief Tony McGuirk said he has been able to slash staff numbers and increase productivity

The public services are riddled with ?bone idle people? who have damaged the productivity of the state sector, a leading fire chief has claimed.

In a withering attack on the malaise gripping the public sector, Tony McGuirk has warned that unless bosses are prepared to sack lazy workers, they will never make the kind of savings necessary to put the economy back on course.

Mr McGuirk, chief fire officer of Merseyside, sparked outrage at the TUC conference yesterday by saying that he has been able to slash staff numbers by 40 per cent and actually provide a better service.

He advised other public sector bosses to show ?muscle, sack some people?.

?We?ve got some bone idle people in the public sector. There, I said it ? bone idle people.?

McGuirk said he had slashed the number of firefighters from 1,550 to 850 during the past decade.

?There is no need to close a fire station, we haven?t touched a single fire station.

?Frontline is fire engines and fire stations, not firefighters. We provide a far better service with those 850 ? more with less.?

He claimed that lazy workers had led to an ?epidemic of sickness leave? which had damaged productivity.

Sep 14, 2010
Increasing more Unequal
by: Hamilton

We recently returned to Cuba after 10 years and were stunned at the changes, and the huge gap between the haves and have note.

The state cronies control the internet, it's only a small percentage of Cubans who can access it and they pay dearly for it, as much as a tenth of their monthly wage, which is pocketed by some well paid fat cat on the State payroll.

We saw well dressed Cubans in our hotel who had pad double the rate we got in Canada. They were speaking into Blackberries on the beach and were running thriving businesses in Havana, whether legal or on the black market we do not know.

We visited the home of a female engineer who also lets rooms, she had every concieveable mod con, latest hi-fi, she was on the internet at home and regularly popped to the next town for her botox injections. We also met the majority of Cubans who lead a hand to mouth existense and who would never approach or hassle a tourist.

The ones who did approach us were the loud mouthed hustlers who were already doing ok.

The smooth talking middle class lawyers, doctors, engneers.

Even an athlete who was one of the biggest con men hustlers we encountered there.

He had all the latest technology, ipod camera etc. He kept chatting up the single female tourists and dropping hint heavily about how hamstrung he was without a car, he being an athlete and all that.

What an almighty cheek. One of the women told him in no uncertain terms where to go.

And like all hustlers who have perfected the art of con, he quietly vanished rapido.

Con men are so used to being challenged all the time, someone calling their bluff, that doing a graceful disapearing act is second nature to them.

I would recommend that more of the women on here challenge the con artists and the hustlers that cross their approach them.

Remember it is always the well fed well healed Cuban hustlers who hit on tourists. Even the professional class.

Just call their bluff. It really does work. They will disappear faster than Battista did following the takeover of the Moncada Barracks.

Sep 11, 2010
I Do Not Judge!.
by: Jennifer

Vic I am the last person to judge someone for using some internet time.

That is not what has made me angry.

It's the outright deception of the Doctor who has been playing tricks with my friend. Last year he deliberately sent me an email from a man I did not know.

I thought that my friend was playing some sort of game to catch me out. So I cancelled my flight to his town.

This year the emails have been coming from Yuyi's account. she apparently is the wife of the Doctor and sends messages from the sld net server.

Both suggestions of casa particulars have emananted from her account signed by my friend. The latest one I was suspicious about and questioned him. He assured me it was not from him as he knew I had found a place. Then when I complained the torrent of mails from the Dr.

I feel he has abused the trust of my friend. he's a trickster and I will most definitely copy his messages and forward them to the relevant person at the Health Authority. The scumbag needs his comuppance.

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