Another take on remittances

In the comments at Penultimos Dias, Ernesto explains his position on remittances. You could say that this is the clean version of Val’s rant from earlier today:

Some time ago I wrote a post about remittances: it is absurd to ignore the fact that they are the main source -or among the main sources- of dollars for a system with which I do not agree. If that money stayed among the population or were reinvested, as in any normal society, I would have no objection. But it ends up being carefully collected by the government. Maybe you don’t think that’s intelligent reasoning, but it is the pure truth. In addition, remittances are not prohibited now: they are simply limited. We talk about Cuba as if it were a normal country. It is not. The Swedish bikinis that came with the boom of tourism did not bring down Franco and neither will the hypothetical wave of American tourists make Cubans freer or happier. By contrast, economic stability for a repressive system will bring us 10 more years of castroism: misery and lies disguised as good intentions and human solidarity.

2 thoughts on “Another take on remittances”

  1. The money does more than just feed the ‘beast’; unfortunately, it keeps the population extremely docile and unwilling to demand their freedom. The sad truth is, as long as the folks on the island are getting our hand-outs there will never be an incentive to seek change. What’s the sad history of the past 49 years? either you get on a plane or boat and leave, or you call Miami and ask for hand-outs. The money and goods we send to the island go a long way toward keeping the population ‘nuetered’ against any desire for challenging the regime. While the Cubans wallow in their passivity, the regime’s conscious or unconscious supporters in the US fight mightily to ensure its survuval. Shamefully, Cuba is now the longest-lasting ‘Western’ nation to have been under Communist rule. The Rumanian people rebelled and died by the thousands in 1989 to overthrow Communism…why is Cuba so different, 90 miles from the greatest democracy ever? Where is the spirit of Marti and Maceo? If only we had more Biscets…

  2. Sr. Gomez –
    As luck would have it, my boss and i gor into a discussion tonight about how BAD things were for the average Cuban, especially after “Raul’s Reforms.” When I was done with evidence, partially from CUBAN websites, he was in shock.
    We just put a H/P OfficeJet 920c back into service because we needed a legacy machine to run on an “LPT-1” port. It needed a Color Cartridge, an H/P #78. “WentTo” for comparative shopping. The cartridge is priced at $80.00 (CUC), the essential equivalent of US Dollars. We just bought the SAME CARTRIDGE (Hecho en Puerto Rico!) for a net of US$ 34.99 from STAPLES, less $3.00 for recycling the old cartridge = US $31.99, less a +/- 30% discount on coupons = US $22.39 + NJ 7% tax on the pre-rebate/coupon amount = US $2.45 = US $24.84 – GROSS PRICE. H/P #78 cartridges are NOT strategic goods by any stretch of the imagination.
    So, bottom line, a CUBAN Citizen, making on average, an official wage of +/- US $20.00 pays US $80.00, a US Citizen, at 1/2 of average annual income (assuming both the male and female work for wages/salary), about US $1,700/mo. pays +/- US $25.00 for the same item.

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