23 September 2008

The Trouble With Money

One of the inherent problems in relaxing the remittance limits to Cuba to deal with the aftermath of hurricanes Gustav and Ike is that not all Cubans have relatives in the US to send them money.

When you have a situation where one neighbor has cash and another doesn’t and both are equally desperate to feed their kids and survive, it can get hostile. Also, the majority of blacks in Cuba don’t have relatives abroad so it adds a race to an already unfair situation.

Because of this, I would prefer that the regime allow the US to reach all the hurricane victims. But, fat chance of that happening.

I have, unfortunately, experienced the conflict and confrontations that can happen after a natural disaster like a hurricane in Cuba when the necessities of life become scarcer with each passing day. Even between family members things can get dicey.

But in my experience, the real problem after the hurricane comes from the regime itself. The Cuban people tend to be generous and neighborly and share whatever they have with their neighbors. But, the Cuban regime is another story. It has a civil paramilitary civilian security arm which it regulates through the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, the CDR’s, These communist foot soldiers of the regime at the local level are the ones that control the neighborhood through fear and intimidation. These are not the most compassionate in the neighborhood. In fact they are usually the most bitter, envious and thuggish elements of society.

After a hurricane, more so than usual, they relish exerting their “power” by taking every advantage to be had for themselves and their friends while making sure that those that don’t sympathize with Fidel and his sick ideology get the short end of the stick.

Now how do these elements react when a “gusano” gets money and they, “the powers that be”, only get to wallow in their misery and frustration?

Here’s one example:

The diplomatic note went ignored amid several reports that Cubans receiving cash storm aid from an exile group in Miami were being threatened by state security.

Melba Santana, the wife of a political prisoner in Las Tunas, said that when she attempted to distribute some money to neighbors from $300 in storm aid sent by the Cuban American National Foundation, state security agents threatened to criminally charge her.

''Let's see how far they are willing to take this, how far they are willing to sacrifice people's suffering,'' Santana said in a telephone interview. ``It was a miserable little $10 I was giving out and people are in need.''

I certainly hope that this is an isolated incident and not a sign of things to come.

1 comment:

Jose Aguirre said...

It's not an isolated incident, the castro thugs have been stealing from and exploiting Cubans for about 50 years now!!!