Resolver

In Cuban, the title of this post means pretty much what it sounds like in English, resolver, to resolve. This is one of those words that, as a Cuban, one becomes all too familiar with. The Cuban people have been resolviendo for forty years. Taking care of business. Doing what it takes to survive in Castro’s Cuba.

Living with the hardships in Cuba has given Cubans the attitude that they must do what must be done in order to live, provide, escape. My father resolvio by applying his trade and making oil lamps. More recently, a group of Cubans turned a Buick into a boat. They resolved.

El resolver is still going on in Cuba today, and will be for years to come. In an article from Cubanet we see a few present day Cubans doing what it takes to put food on the table and clothes on their backs.

NUEVA GERONA, March When it comes to making ends meet, Cubans have had to be resourceful in recent years, engaging in traditional occupations as well as in some unsuspected ones, to cope with prices at present day levels with official salaries that are stuck at 1959 levels.

Roberto Cantalapiedra, 40, for example, who says he used to earn 162 pesos a month as a mason with the government’s building and maintenance company in the Isle of Youth, had to quit his job to be able to earn enough to support his 12- and 14-year-old sons. “Now I freelance doing masonry, electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, and welding. I feel better and I make enough to support my family.”

Emilio Zald?var delivers and installs liquefied natural gas tanks for his neighbors on his Chinese-made bicycle. When times are slow, he also refills their 55-gallon tanks of drinking water, charging 5 pesos for his services.

A man who gave his name as Mart?nez, said he rids houses of frogs and toads. He explained that there are people who are afraid of the critters and are willing to pay him to get them out. He charges 20 pesos for four frogs in up to two houses.

Jos? Manuel Vigil hits the Malec?n, Havana’s oceanfront boulevard, at night with his guitar. “Here, singing, I make between 150 and 200 pesos a night. Weekends the take is better. I get 5 pesos a song. Mostly I do boleros,” he said.

These few instances may seem like Cubans just trying to earn some money, but it is more than that. Alot more. What these people are doing in essence is practicing capitalism. And in Cuba capitalism is sometimes a crime.

2 thoughts on “<i>Resolver</i>”

  1. This is one thing other people notice about Cubans. They get off the boat, and ten minutes later, they’re selling fruit in the middle of LeJeune Road. A year later, they own grocery stores.

    As for turning old Buicks into boats, they do that in Hialeah all the time.

  2. And Koreans and Vietnamese et.al. Something about the first taste of something being the sweetest?

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