From our Bureau of Socialist Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
Cuba is surrounded by water and has many rivers, yet the vast majority of Cubans never have fish to eat. The reason is simple: Only the oligarchs, tourists, and foreign dignitaries have access to fish.
One species of fish in particular is favored by Cuba’s rulers, the arapaima (also known as paiche), a native of the Amazon which is huge and supposedly delicious to eat. It can only be found in fish farms carefully guarded by Castro, Inc., and its consumption is forbidden to 99% of Cuba’s population.
Loosely translated from 14yMedio
The giant of the Cuban fresh waters is not a native fish and neither does it reach the tables of ordinary families. The paiche or arapaima, which can reach up to 250 kilograms and three meters in length, was introduced into the country more than forty years ago and is a delicacy destined for the dishes of senior leaders and their families.
Although huge in size and highly valued meat, the arapaima is a species almost unknown to Cubans. Except for a few sightings in dams or lagoons, most island residents do not know that there is a breeding program for this giant from the Amazon and that feasts with this fish are frequent among Party leaders.
In the Higuanojo dam, in Sancti Spíritus, “paiche is raised but it is permanently closed. It is only fished by authorized people and to take it to Havana, specifically for the families of Punto Cero and others in the area of El Laguito and Atabey “, tells 14ymedio a local employee who prefers to remain anonymous. “A complete team is coming that includes members of State Security, veterinarians and expert fishermen,” he clarifies.
“Since they don’t want the animal to get hit or lose scales, then an entanglement is made to push it little by little until it can be removed from the water,” he explains. “He has to arrive in Havana in perfect condition, because the same thing ends up in the house of a general, a minister, or a meal with a foreign delegation that is visiting the country.”continue reading HERE in Spanish