Home > Iván García, Translator: Mari Mesa Contreras > Raul Castro Handles the Situation with Tweezers

Raul Castro Handles the Situation with Tweezers


The government of General Raul Castro is handling the Cuban situation with kid gloves, and a lot of discretion. The jubilation and cheap partying of revolutionary re-affirmation is pure distraction.

The national economy is sinking without remedy. The prescription for alleviating the disaster appears most like the neo-liberal variety that is criticized with such passion by the creole mandarins.

The forecast is not encouraging. Go figure. The measures designed by Raul Castro’s advisers are unpopular and hard. Very hard. One million three hundred thousand people will be unemployed. Inefficient industries will close. Worker transportation at the big enterprises will be eliminated.

The lunch also. Already the stimulus in convertible currency has been seriously affected. A well-informed source assures that they are studying cutting the payment of the wages in hard currency to a minimum that should not exceed 35 convertible Cuban pesos.

What could come down in this summer of fire is not friendly. According to a source consulted, during the month that the Football World Cup in South Africa begins, which State Television is going to transmit in full, it would be a good time to start with a package of regulations that would put people’s backs up.

A considerable part of the public will have their eyes on the Cup. One of the main measures is to dismiss between 100,000 and 200,000 workers from the inflated payroll slates. They are thinking of sending them home with 60% of their salary, and they are also considering placing them in some other sectors that have an enormous shortage of personnel, like the construction or agricultural industries, according to the source, who works in a branch of government.

To save face, the government of the Castro brothers intends to put into effect a model of private co-ops in small sectors such as barber shops or beauty parlors.

According to this person, the possibility is being looked at of eliminating some important subsidies like the ration card. “There is an exception, that foresees leaving the ration card only for cases of social security, in other words senior citizens, disabled people or families of low income,” points out the source and adds: “Everything is under meticulous study.”

The regime of General Castro who who will turn 79 on the upcoming June 3, has calculated to not make a false step. Twenty-one years of deep economic crisis has created a very important wearing down of a big sector of the population that is openly complaining about the policies of the government.

The rubber band will not stretch any more. It looks like the moment to apply the rumored formulas to save the economy has arrived. The situation of productivity and of finances on the island is going up in smoke.

It is strongly rumored that the next school year will be delayed until October. Essential food such as rice, salt and oil will not be readily available in the national currency, and prices have tripled. Fruits and vegetables continue to have stratospheric prices.

Many times, because of an ill-fated measure of the state organ in charge of commercialization, the products do not reach the markets, and are lost in the fields or are spoiled in warehouses.

Little and bad is the news that is falling upon us this hot summer.

Rogelio Lopez, a 67-year-old biologist by profession assures us that the oil spill in the Mexican Gulf is already provoking the hurried migration of sharks and other marine predators. Even the usual seaside months of July and August, when people rush to the beaches en masse, could be endangered by the black tide.

All a skinny dog gets are fleas. Castro II has other fronts open. One, that of the corruption at all levels. The other, political. With active opposition, the Ladies in White are trying to gain public space, the mediation of the church and the upcoming visit of the Vatican chancellor, who in addition to a face-to-face dialogue with the authorities, brings an express petition to the Havana government to free certain political prisoners.

To climb out of the hole induced by 51 years of bad economic administration, aggravated by the gringo embargo, clearly, the solution will bring strong criticism and bigger discontent in the population as well as an increase in illegal emigration.

Cuba is not Greece. None of the international organizations will inject huge sums of capital into the precarious Cuban economy. In addition, the foreign investments will continue to be minimal. We only have the summer which promises us good football, abundant heat and a new notch on the belt. Another one.

Ivan Garcia

Photos: Manu Dias. Raúl Castro is received by a native of Bahia de Acarajé, during a stop he made in Bahia, Brasil in July of 2009.

Translated By: Mari Mesa Contreras

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  1. denbenenki
    September 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    the world needs to applaud the Cuban people for their unselfishness, humbleness and sacrifice for the integrity they have shown all these years. with the exception of the Cubans that exiled to the USA and have shown no advantage to the country aside from black ops and Desi Arnez (so long ago) the Cuban people have set the standard for the definition of society as that describes a mass of people living together, making do with the resources they have and establishing an ongoing progression for each as individuals and as a whole (nation). the result is, for the past 51 or so years, the Cuban people can travel worldwide and find they are welcome and admired, compared to the USA, who now travels undercover as Canadians. another significant difference is, though Cuba has had few military battles the past 100 years, they have dozens of true heroes, hundreds if one counts their peace-time heroics. in the US, a new Iron-man and Captain America movies have failed to fill the void past cartoons have given our children to emulate heroes. the result is, Americans lack true pride and honor which has desensitized us making us more apathetic each year. hardly anyopne i talk to gives even one thought a day to the mass killings ongoing by our military. as parents, the Cuban people can be proud the have raised enough self-confident people that have added to that island support these many years to surpass the giant neighbor (who has everything) in humanitarian assistance, education and medical assistance. quite an impressive accomplishment. by-the-way, the economy, jobs and prices in the US is at disturbing levels, as are most countries right now, so, inserting the comment about the Cuban economy, blaming it on “bad administration” is mis-reporting the cause. Lastly, perhaps that pope guy can visit here next and appeal to this govt to free the 500,000 political dissidents and release the hundreds of so-called home-grown terrorists–or Muslims, as they prefer to be called.

  2. denbenenki
    September 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Much respect to you Mr. Fidel Castro,

    Your contribution to the world brings you everlasting life here.

    it is an honor to live together with you at this time in history.

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