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realclearworld

Castrogonian life: What happens when the government owns everything

central Havana

central Havana

La vida colgando de un hilito. (1)

Belascoain Street, between Virtudes and Victoria streets, central Havana

A painful history lesson

Cuban dissident Martha Beatriz Roque has launched a photo campaign to expose the many failures and abuses of the Castrogonian state.

Many of her photos feature the dangerous deterioration of the country's housing.

Here is a photo received today.  She entitled it "Life hanging by a little thread."  As she explains in a brief caption: the residents of this Havana neighborhood have lodged numerous complaints about this collapsing roof, but none of the officials in charge of repairs have responded in any way.

This used to be a decent middle class neighborhood, its buildings proudly well-maintained by their owners.  Most of these buildings are now about 80 to 100 years old, and not much has been done to maintain them over the past 55 years.

This location is only about 11 city blocks from where my immigrant Gallego  grandparents lived, in a modest upstairs apartment.  Under the arcade pictured here, and others like it, individual entrepreneurs would sell all kinds of great food or other goods from their "timbiriches" (vendor's carts).  And the larger stores, bars, and restaurants were well-stocked.  The Chinese hot dog man at the corner of Ayestaran and Bruzon, not far from here, sold the best "fritas," and "papitas" in the world, and the best "perros calientes," too.  His timbiriche was confiscated by the Castro regime, along with every other business on the island.

Goodbye, "Chino de los perros," goodbye civilization.

When no one owns anything and when no one has access to money or building supplies (because the government owns everything, and keeps wages at a mere subsistence level) this is what happens.  The economy shrinks and shrinks with every passing day and everything rots and crumbles, except for whatever is of personal interest to the ruling elites.

Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Nicaraguans, Bolivians:  take a close look.  It's looking more and more like this will be your future.  Argentines, Uruguayans, Brazilians, Peruvians, Hondurans: take a close look too.  You're headed in the same general direction.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
—George Santayana, Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense, Scribner's, 1905, p. 284

La vida colgando de un hilito.(4)

3 comments to Castrogonian life: What happens when the government owns everything

  • Gallardo

    A "failure"? To fail you have to try. Let's stop deeming charades and blatant lies as "failures". Cuba's imposed misery is not a failure, it is a vital tool for the fraudulent, criminal, and mediocre body that successfully oppresses it. The "failure" was indeed part of a very successful plan.

    It should be more than obvious by now that the bloody fraud of Castro never cared for Cuba or anything other than his useless grip on power. No nationalist betrays, slaves, agonizes, and ruins a thriving country in such aberrant way. No nationalist is a communist, let's start with that. This was an entitled and spoiled egomaniac who despised Cuban society; and of course, destroyed it in the name of "social justice".

  • Honey

    Gallardo, my word, that sounds familiar to me about what we have in the U.S. now and what we can expect our future to look like.
    And, professor, we must not forget that the deterioration is so quaint and must be seen before some reformer comes long to spoil it and homogenize everything and make it look new, and everyone is happy in Cuba and eager to dance for tourists and there is music everywhere. What a delightful country.
    I despair.

  • asombra

    No, the Castro "revolution" did not fail, certainly not in its essential goals, which were never about what was best for Cuba or average Cubans, but about the interests and desires of the ruling clique--first and foremost, those of the "Maximum Leader." It only "failed" those who once believed its lies and false promises, which were indeed copious, as well as those who were mainly opportunists but ultimately failed to get the kind of payback they were after. In other words, it was never about "the people," whose function was to serve the purposes of those in power.