Back when Castro was financed and subsidized by the USSR and he didnt need dollars to keep the economy going….
-There were no prepaid phone cards to call Cuba. The phone calls placed to the island took weeks to get through, if they were allowed at all. If the recipient of the call was not in good standing with the government, read: a revoltionary and a communist, sometimes the calls were not put through. When they were, they were monitored.
-No Cuban that left the island was allowed back on the island. No exceptions.
-US Dollars were not allowed. Anywhere, for whatever.
-Care packages were allowed yet not many sent them for fear that said packages would never reach the hands of the intended recipient.
-Both Cubans abroad and Cubans on the island were separated from their families and had little, if any, contact with those remaining under the dictator.
-Letters, the only true form of communication available to separated familes, to and from the island were opened and read by party officials. They were censored and then sent to their destination. Some letters never made it through.
Now, the big bad Soviet machine is no longer and Fidel and his policies just don’t cut it. The regime’s criticizing of the US restrictions and the tightening thereof, is just a veiled hypocritical plea for a handout.