Tonight I was watching local Spanish TV and got to catch Carlos Alberto Montaner’s new show for the first time. He had a guest on (can’t remember his name) who was talking about the 6 great ironies of Cuban Communism. I have a vague recollection of having heard these before but I thought they were worth mentioning:
1. Despite the fact that in Cuba everyone has a job, nobody works.
2. Despite the fact that nobody works, production quotas are always surpassed.
3. Despite the fact production quotas are surpassed, the warehouses and stores are always empty.
4. Despite the fact that the warehouses and stores are always empty, the people’s needs are always met.
5. Despite the fact that the people’s needs are always met, Cubans complain privately about the government.
6. Despite the fact that people complain privately about the government, they overwhelmingy “re-elect” it time and again.
Another pithy phrase I picked up from the TV was in regards to raul castro and whether or he will make changes in Cuba. The commentator said “raul will change something in order to change nothing.” I think there’s a lot of truth in that. He’ll make some cosmetic changes to give himself cover as a reformer while the fundamental changes that are necessary to move Cuba forward will be avoided at all costs because they will result in the end of the tyranny.
Some readers are adding to the above list in the comments section. I will post the best ones and some of my own thoughts here:
1. Despite the fact that Cuba is waging a battle of ideas, the internet is censored and satellite tv is banned.
2. Despite the fact that Cuban health care is free, Cubans depend on their stateside relatives to send them medicines and medical supplies.
3. Despite a US blockade, the US is Cuba’s leading supplier of food and agricultural products.
4. Despite the fact that Cuba has such great social equality, hundreds of thousands of Cubans only want to leave.
5. Despite the fact that the Cuban Revolution ended exploitation of Cubans by tourists, Cubans are forbidden from enjoying the accommodations that foreigners are entitled to.
6. Despite the fact that the Cuban Revolution banned prostitution, today Cuba’s prostitutes are “the best educated and most healthy in the world.”
7. Despite the fact that virtually every Cuban can read, it can be a punishable crime to give away or lend out books.