Saturday, 26 November 2016

Thoughts About Cuba



     My contact with the Cuban people was frequent in the Yucatan where various of the higher level bureaucrats were allowed to vacation in Merida, Cozumel, and in the archeological sites.   During the period from the mid-1970s up to the early 1990s we owned and operated a very nice excursion company, conducting "the grand tour" to almost every corner of Mexico.
   During those times, we travelled somewhat frequently to the Yucatan Peninsula, both to research and "engineer" excursion accommodations adn events, and to actually escort and direct the excursions.  We would always have direct or indirect contact with Cuban people, mostly on "group reward tours".  They were always "chaperoned".
   The "chaperones" were goons of the Cuban National Security. The Cubans could not believe the difference in the level of general prosperity in Mexico. The women would go by 'ladies' specialties" store and gooney-gaze at the elegant and frilly underwear and nightgowns displayed in abundance....the ubiquitous shoe-stores with all classes, prices, styles, and types of shoes....the men were drop-jawed at the hardware stores....and then, of course, the autos.  They were amazed at the number and styles of autos; old ones, new ones, and I could overhear them saying things like, "Look, all the tires are the same brand."
     I personally overheard the "chaperones" telling the people that all they were seeing was stuffing put there "especially for this visit" (of this or that Cuban group) in order to fool the Cuban tourists that Mexico was a land of plenty....and that when they would leave to return to Cuba, a normalcy would return to something worse than what the Cubans had.  While Mexico and Cuba would express union and "solidarity" concerning the ever-onward march to Social Justice and Social Democracy, the Cuba ghouls of governance thought the Mexicans were lackeys to the Gringos.  The Mexicans, on the other hand, spent millions and billions of pesos keeping track of Cuban agents, and maintaining a considerable army, navy, and air force, most of which was (and is) concentrated at or near the easternmost parts of Mexico.  
   It was a norm, as well, for upper-level Cuban commie apparatchiks and family members to go to Merida, Vera Cruz, Puebla, and Mexico City for such things as simple as appendectomies and eye lifts....and certainly for such things as by-pass operations etc. They too would be "chaperoned".
    There was the incident where some ladies were commenting while looking into a store display window.  They were repeating what their ''chaperone" had said about the stores being "stuffing", and I advised them quietly that such is not the case. "Como Ustedes lo vean, es como es.  Con La Pascua y las Fiestas Naviden~as, es mas todavia. (As you see it, is as it is. At Eastertide and during the Christmastide it is still more.)
    The ladies, without looking at me, asked if I would sell my Levi blue-jeans, "discreetly"....because they recognised me due to the fact that we were using the same hotel.  I advised (also not turning to address them face to face),  them that their "escort" and his goons would be checking their luggage for any and all "inappropriate" gifts and purchases.  To that observation they deflated a bit, and said, "Of course, they always do, they always have."   The converstational posture was necessary so as to avoid the chance that they could be accused of "collaborating".  

 All the sports teams were "chaperoned", and there were many occasions when the teams and their "chaperones" (sometimes as many of them as players and managers and support staff) would all defect in Mexico. My introduction to the goons was note under my door at the Hotel Castellanos in downtown Merida which stated, "Do not speak to Cuban. We does not say please. Do not speak to Cuban." It was not signed.
    To further respond to the lunacy that spews forth from the "democratic left" and from the willfully gullible and/or uniformed, we must add a bit of appropriate addenda.
     When the Bishop of Rome, and state leaders from around the world, and organisations such as "Pastors for Peace", and the United Nations, etc. etc. etc. howl at the moon over the "brutality of the American Blockade" causing death and suffering of the children and people of Cuba, please remember to do one thing.  Take a globe, rotate it slowly....Red China, Japan, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Lower Slobovia, India, Guatemala, and approximately 200 other nations have trade relations with the Cuban "Democratic Republic".   The reason there is a blockade of any kind is because Cuba has nothing much to sell to the world, and precious little ability to buy anything the world has to sell to Cuba.
     The grandeur of the Cuban medical system ..... free to all ....was a myth, is a myth, and will certainly be revealed soon in its totality, even to those who do not wish to believe the truth.  It was the same in the Soviet Union.  While many Cuban doctors are excellent practitioners and surgeons, those went to Mexico, Spain, and the United States long ago.  Most Cuban doctors are woefully ill-prepared and nowhere near the level of the common Mexican saw-bones.....the "nurses" are not like what you will find in France or Japan.....the facilities are nightmarish.
     One might remember when another piece of human debris, Hugo Chavez, left his country for medical was to Cuba, where he was attended by Spanish doctors, flown in from Madrid.   He returned to Venezuela to continue a not so slow decline on his way to wherever his soul is burning now.
     It is a travesty how the Obsolete and International Press has consistently misled and/0r outright lied about the Cuban social, economic, medical, agricultural, and tourist industries.  It can all be described as dilapidated, corrupt, filthy, brutal, unfinished, in ruins, and essentially hopelessly engaged in some form of rot.
     We could go on and on....but we shan't.   We hope the best for the Cuban people who....during the corruption of Gen. Fulgencio Batista were the fourth ranking population in the Americas in terms of literacy, income per capita, medical and social facilities, etc.  To-day it vies with Haiti for Cellardwellar Honours.

El Gringo Viejo