Babalú Public Service Announcement

A message to all Cubans in exile.

The full details are below the fold.

1-Send your family members only the basic minimum via stipend if at all, which should provide for the purchase of strictly basic amenities and not for luxury items. If higher-end items are a necessity, then avoid buying them in state-run corporations because the hard currencies from abroad, in one way or another, always ends up in the coffers of the dictatorship.

2-Do not make use of the official channels in order to send money to Cuba, the dollar (a bona fide currency) is exchanged at a rate of 1 to 1 into CUC (a “fictitious” conversion currency only accepted in Cuba and artificially pegged to the dollar) so that Cubans on the island spend this currency in state-owned establishments (stores, restaurants, services etc.,) therefore, the cycle always perpetuates itself to benefit the coffers of the dictatorship.

Send your monetary assistance if you must, in dollars, so that these may circulate on the island as a currency for acquiring goods in the underground economy, the black market, as it is the ONLY economy which purports real wealth to the people. May not a single one of these dollars pass through the hands of Castro regime operators, because it would be a dollar lost.

3- The ongoing dispute between the US/Cuba cannot be a justification for Cubans and Non-Cubans living abroad that are making a profit by acting as “mules” (mulas). Those making a lucrative business of taking lbs. or kg of merchandise to Cuba for profit, should refrain from doing so, or should refrain from charging a fee. The same principle applies to musicians or performing artists that have performances in Miami and other venues to a predominantly Cuban audience, because the proceeds of these public events will inevitably profit the regime.

Cubans living abroad should refrain from attending concerts by artists that reside in Cuba if entrance fees for tickets are being charged. If the venue is for free, don’t worry, enjoy the music!, abstain from and boycott the purchase of products produced by state-owned corporations such as “Habanos” tobacco products, “Havana Club” brand rum, “Bucanero” beer brand, “Cristal” brand beer, “El Floridita” brand products, “Gran Caribe” brand products, especially abroad, in countries where these products are widely available in local markets.

4-Let us create a civic and peaceful boycott to target at those whom directly derive profit from the division of Cuban families; travel agencies, insurance companies, air line firms, messaging companies, money transfer services. The use of these services should be kept at a bare minimum to provide assistance and sustenance to families on the island. As already mentioned above in point no.3, make use of alternative means in order to effectively send assistance and do not do so through official channels.

5-If you must travel to Cuba, avoid spending your hard (earned) currency at state-owned and operated establishments such as restaurants, entertainment venues, rent-a-car agencies, clothing shops. Spend it, if you must, in the “new economy businesses” of the newly self-employed, of independent contractors which are allowed to flourish for the moment. Pay for those goods and services “on the left”, which means via the black-market, a thriving underground economy which is a pocket of capitalism prescribed by supply and demand so that that profit made avoids the exorbitantly high taxation schemes imposed by the government on these activities which inevitably profit those in power.

Avoid living the”high life”, engaging in speculation, and in excessive partying in Cuba if you are on a visit. Do keep in mind that 11 million Cubans are living under a brutal dictatorship and this fact does affect everybody and the dictates of decency demand sobriety. Concentrate on what is strictly of essence and of importance right now, collaborate individually and collectively so that all may one day enjoy the same rights and privileges.

6- Maximize efforts to send through non-official channels, laptops, hand-held PC’s, wireless routers, PDA cell phones, USB flash memory drives loaded with information, with news, web pages, TV programs, radio content, links programs and all useful information on the events shaping the outside world. The dictatorship most fears the free flow of information, made evident in the most recent case with Mr. Alan Gross, currently on trial in Cuba for “espionage” for having brought in laptops and satellite broadband equipment to the Local Jewish community there.