Monday, February 8, 2010

Behind the Desk.

More than 900 thousands Canadians traveled to Cuba in 2009. Mostly all of them to resorts like Varadero, Cayo Largo and Havana, and mostly all of them unknowing what it is behind the desk every time they go to change their currency into Castro’s invention: the CUC.Behind the desk

Cuba has two official markets for their citizens, when actually the biggest market in the country remained in underground Cuba, traveling door to door, behind shattered buildings in Havana, or shouted from balcony to balcony, in a sort of national touristic trip throughout Havana. There, you can find everything that it is escaping Castro’s hands: medicines, milk and apples. In fact, the only sustainable market in Cuba is the black market.

But behind the desk of luxurious hotels, beautiful resorts and magnificent beaches, there is another market hidden from the tourist’s innocent eyes. The authorities delivered an official rate for every single foreign currency circulating in Cuba, but the cunning Cuban never stay too far from any profitable source for their life.

Having a poor networking system in its touristic industry, Cuba delivered every morning its official rates to hotels and resorts, and there our crafty fellows add their own fee above of it: his fee to survive Castro’s regime.

Rascals always live on people’s behalf, especially on behalf our silly innocent tourists who believe, mostly all the times, what our fellows show them on the screen of their computer: a rate already altered to his pockets..

But there is another trick Canadians and tourists ignore, and I saw in place with amaze. At the very moment when the tourist hand out their money to the person behind the desk, our rascal with a wand of stroke throws one of the bills handed out to him to the floor: it is the payment our innocent tourists are paying to our imaginative Cubans to survive.

I saw myself the trick in one of Varadero most luxurious hotels, and I was stunned with the fact that I didn’t even see the bill falling from his hands, but I actually saw it on the floor meanwhile our smart fellow was talking gently with the pleasant woman. When she picked up her money and was gone, the guy gave me a wink and smile with my astonishing surprise. I never tried to change my money in any other hotel in Cuba after that. I guess you won’t.

It is a survival quest, and I know that. But for me it is beyond my principles and believes. Cubans had gone too far to survive, and in every single premises their first task is to steal something and sell it to anybody: from a glass stole day by day until they complete the whole set, to the daily cigar that workers are bringing out from Cuba’s tobacco industry to sell it in the black market.

Behind all of these little daily robberies are the Cuban salary policy, the double currency and the shortage of every single item Cubans face day after day. It is the Estate who has to be blame, not its defenceless citizens.

From top to bottom, Cuba’ society is a ladder of opportunism, robbery and double moral. Communist party leaders ask from humbleness, chastity in revolutionary principles and frugality to our fellows, but they enjoy a life without limit: nice houses, any lack of groceries and their daily gas to their cars in a country where to own a car is a luxury a few can enjoy. This is our Cuba: never referenced by official media and supporters worldwide.

Meanwhile, innocent Canadians are traveling to Cuba and giving a bit of freedom to our nationals to their pockets, behind the desk. It is a price paid for their survival in a country where the authorities punish everything, from a simple rational opinion to the citizen defiance to the official view about Socialism.

Behind the desk, Canadians and tourists are giving away freedom.