The Spies Above

The Independent from the UK has a good article today on the state of human rights in Cuba. The main subjects in Leonard Doyle’s article are a man named “Carlos” and Oscar Espinosa Chepe, a leading dissident. Instead of the usual media fluff about the quaint old cars and lack of commercialism, you get a scary but real look at what ordinary Cubans have to put up with on a daily basis.
Here’s a sample:

Care is needed because the Specialised Police are everywhere in Havana. They seem to have two functions. The first is to ensure that nothing disturbs the flow of tourist dollars to government-owned hotels. The second is to ensure that ordinary Cubans are kept as far as possible from the visitors who might give them ideas about human rights.
Carlos’s floor is divided between four families with a linking passageway outside. There is almost no privacy and he and his family are cooped up like battery hens in the tumbledown building. It seems not to have had a lick of paint since the revolution. And because Carlos is himself a human-rights activist he has never been able to find work. By inviting me into his home without official permission, which would never be granted, he risks being arrested.

Link to entire article here.

4 thoughts on “The Spies Above”

  1. Great piece except for one thing. The author is full of shit when he says that exiles hate las damas de blanco.

  2. The author implies that there is not enough food because of the U.S. embargo. Cuba DOES buy food from us, but it goes to the hotels for the tourists, not to the Cuban people.
    Also, Cubans who are involved with the tourist industry (guides,drivers, waiters, maids)DO have access to convertible pesos in the form of tips.

  3. Yeah, the comment about exiles hating the Damas is baseless. Otherwise a solid piece.
    Mariana: the part that mentions the rationing beginning when the embargo took hold is followed by the statement that “rationing is part of the Castro brothers’ tyranny”. So the author does understand the nature of the beast, so to speak.

Comments are closed.