Anti-Governmental Signs in San Miguel del Padron

Several anti-governmental signs appeared on the walls of official buildings January 17, in the Gardiola neighborhood in the municipality of San Miguel del Padrón.

On the “Panque Llave” bakery, located on Aleja between San Francisco and Dolores, one could read “Down with Fidel” and on the Food Warehouse, between 1º de Mayo and Circunvalación Streets, one could read, “They picked up the stallion to let the mare out*” an allusion to the brothers Fidel and Raul Castro. Several of the spectators predicted a public demonstration against the layoff measures being taken in the workplaces.

At each place there were Communist Party militants called to paint over the signs with dark paint, read out a statement, and sing the national anthem.

*Translator’s note: A more or less untranslatable and extremely insulting expression; the stallion is Fidel Castro and the mare is Raul Castro.

January 20 2011

Published in: on January 23, 2011 at 3:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Doctor Explosion at the Research Center on Aging

The Research Center on Aging (CITED), located in the Surgical Hospital Calixto García in the capital, conducted an analysis of the Economic Guidelines, at 3:00 pm on January 13, setting off an explosion of statements from the medical corps working there.

Once the introduction of the presentation was underway, Dr. Horacio Tabares, orthopedic specialist, interrupted demanding an explanation for the support and insufficient pay for the medical personnel working at this national center, “I need someone to explain to me why children over seven cannot have milk and why as doctors we have no right to breakfast unless it’s a sip of coffee, while we have to face five, seven and even eight hours of surgery where we are playing with human lives. When you explain these points to me, then we can go on to talk about the economic guidelines.”

Dr. Erick, a resident in geriatrics, commented on the lack of nursing personnel in the critical care ward, where the nurses work 48 and even 72 hours without any relief. He also asked why the menu consisted of peas and cornmeal every day.

The analysis of the document was delayed because the participants left the session.

January 20 2011

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Dolores Without Work and Cursing Communism

Dolores is a friend who for years has kept working the Cuban government for wages that range among the lowest.

I remember that for years she held dual membership in the Union of Young Communists (UJC) and the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), although she enjoyed listening to banned broadcasts and wearing clothes brought from the USA, though she would cut off the tags to hide their origin. At her workplace she held the financial post at the Union Section, and with the funds she would meet the needs of her house and the moment they were deposited she would run run run, looking for the number.

She spent months waiting to be told if she was surplus and would be downsized, and they already told Lolita… get your things, your place is gone.

“But if I do the work of two for the same salary, I cover reception in emergencies and I go to the bank every day. How could I be laid off?”

“Yes, the Revolution needs it and it’s time to face the challenges.”

“And my needs, who is going to cover them? I don’t understand anything…”

She stammered as she sobbed and got ready to leave the place where she’d worked eleven years without a break, and I didn’t know where to look because I was embarrassed.

Recounting the unfortunate diatribe of the leaders of the Cuban Revolution, and so many “vivas” shouted and today they tell her she’s without work and without food.

“This is the price of subservience, and now I’m more fucked than I’ve been in 45 years, may the communists and their reforms go to hell and not drag me with them,” she finishes telling me with despair.

January 13 2011

Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 3:13 am  Leave a Comment