Fidel Castro: Cuba's Self Criticism
While we are on self-criticism, check out an exceprt from a new 'harsh' Cuban documentary about the migrants of Eastern Cuba to Havana called Buscándote Habana (Looking for Havana). It is an isse Fidel addresses frankly in a recently translated excerpt from Ignacio Ramonet's book Cien Horas Con Fidel (100 Hours With Fidel).
But I thought Cuba did not permit complaints (let alone award them at film festivals). Here is Fidel's latest missive:
Not all workers receive the incentive of convertible pesos, a practice that became generalized in a large number of companies during the Special Period, without always fulfilling the minimum committed requirements. Not everybody receives convertible currency from abroad, something which is not illegal but which at times creates irritating inequalities and privileges in a country that does its utmost to supply vital services free of charge to the entire population. I do not mention the juicy profits being made by those who transport people clandestinely, nor the way they would fool us by changing the US bills into other currencies in order to avoid our response measures against the dollar.
The real and visible lack of equality and the lack of pertinent information gives way to critical opinions, especially in the neediest sectors.
In Cuba, without a doubt, those who some way or another receive convertible pesos –even though in these cases the sums are limited –or those receiving currency from abroad, also acquire free essential social services, food, medicines and other goods at extremely low subsidized prices. However we are strictly fulfilling our financial obligations precisely because we are not a consumer society. We need serious, brave and conscientious managers.
Those using up gasoline all over the place with our current fleet of vehicles of all kinds; those who forget that the prices of food increase sharply and that raw materials for agriculture and industry, many of whose products are distributed to all at subsidized prices, must be acquired at market prices; those that forget that the country has the sacred duty to struggle until our last drop of blood and must spend money for raw materials and defensive measures faced with an enemy who is permanently on guard, they can compromise the independence and life of Cuba. We cannot fool around with that!