[Marxism] [Fwd: [PEN-L] Cuba: siempre con combate]

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 22 13:31:55 MDT 2004

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [PEN-L] Cuba: siempre con combate
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 15:27:24 -0400
From: Diane Monaco <diane.monaco at EMICH.EDU>
Reply-To: PEN-L list <PEN-L at SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU>

Louis wrote:

 > ...it is remarkable that Cuba has climbed up into the first tier of
 > nations. Could you imagine if the USA had a hostile neighbor to the
 > North that was nearly 30 times the size in population and had about
 > 500 times greater GDP and was bent on destroying our economy? The USA
 > would fall apart within months, I'm sure. Cuba has not only not fallen
 > apart, it has made steady improvement--even according to economic
 > thinktanks hostile to its existence. That's a good argument for 

Cuba IS a remarkable country -- I was there last month for the first
time on an educational exchange, and I'm still utterly astonished by its
obvious, ever-present and forward-looking optimism and hope for its
future and for the future of all humankind really.  Louis, I totally
agree with you that socialism has everything to do with it...in
particular the Cuban brand of socialism.

The Cuban people are wonderfully kind, relaxed, interested,
healthy...and wonderfully fit!  Everyone is fit...including animals.  I
mean, even the pigs are in good shape, and there are plenty of pigs
around -- on leashes no less -- as pork is a major meat source in Cuba.
Cubans eat lots of fruit, rice, beans, pork, and chicken.

The country is so naturally beautiful and it's been kept that way.
There are no billboards contaminating the Royal and coconut palm laden
landscape, other than a motivational or proactive quote or two (siempre
con combate)...and the streets of Havana are lined with the magnificent
and flowering - flamboyan...at least in June.  Cuba is absolutely
breathtaking with many Unesco biosphere reserves throughout.  There are
relatively few automobiles in Havana, but when you do see them, they are
either American cars from the 1950s or Russian cars from the 1970s or
thereabouts.  Public transportation includes regular buses, "camel"
buses, a few taxi cabs, bicycle cabs...and walking.  I'm sure that's a
good reason why they're so fit.

There is lots of music, visual art work and murals in Cuba...which again
points to their optimism.  Cubans love ice cream (Coppelia and Nestle)
and they obviously freely dress as they wish, but they mostly wear blue
jeans, shorts, sleeveless shirts, and tees to keep cool...unless some
type of uniform is required.  All students and many government workers
wear some type of uniform.

I actually saw a lot of nationalism.  There are many museums/sights
(Museo de la Revolucion, Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana -- Carlos
III of Spain) and memorials/events to honor the past and present of Cuba
(a cannon is fired every night from la Cabana by Cubans dressed as 1800s
era Spanish soldiers).  There are busts of Jose Marti outside schools
and government buildings...lots of posters of Ernesto "Che" Guevara
everywhere...I also saw memorials to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Princess
Diana, Ernest Hemingway, and John Lennon.

So now as the Cubans would say:  "Don't tell me the whole story of
tobacco" (meaning cut to the chase)

siempre con combate,



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