I once saw ethnologist Miguel Barnet, Chair of the Association of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC), in a bout of ill-intentioned perplexity. He was giving the opening speech for a social sciences symposium that addressed the issue of illegal settlements in the capital.
Yenisel Rodriguez’s Diary
The economic crisis of the 1990s led Cubans to produce a broad variety of alcoholic beverages through traditional and innovative methods. But why don’t Cubans have a tradition of making beer through traditional means?
I don’t believe the economic liberalization process now underway will bring about significant changes to this situation, at least not in the mid-term, particularly because the most basic forms of authoritarianism in the workplace remain intact…
Authoritarianism encompasses everything from the most banal daily practice to the government measure with the most profound impact on society. Our social experiences in Cuba are saturated with the authoritarian culture we all complain about.
The greatest damage to Cuba’s food industry isn’t to be found in the precarious working conditions and poor services in the sector but in the destruction of the culinary traditions that were once a part of the identity of the island’s main provincial capitals, particularly cosmopolitan Havana.
Why do Cuban government investors constantly suspend the allocation of funds for planned maintenance work? So many things have been done wrong in this sense that no one believes that story about lack of experience, poor training or insufficient resources any more.
Health problems begin to spread across Cuba as the government begins to lose the firm hand of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) to impose its epidemic-control methods and procedures on the population. To fill the void left by the CDRs at the neighborhood level, the government turns to Public Health institutions.
Drinking hot chocolate in Cuba is almost a privilege, an exotic experience, an act denoting social prestige. Few Cubans would believe that, for the longest time, hot chocolate was one of the most popular breakfasts in the country. Once the companion of people’s morning toast, it has become a true culinary luxury.
The World Health Organization president reminded Cuban officials that the short-term profits generated by fast food are eclipsed by the high costs of treating chronic, non-transmissible conditions associated to their frequent consumption.
Power cuts that aren’t caused by maintenance or repair work are taking place in certain areas of the Cuban capital. The regularity and persistence of these blackouts (which have been occurring from one to two years now) makes one suspect the country continues to face problems in terms of energy availability.