‘¡No tengo ni cojones!’, the man said. ‘Para decirle en buen Castillano’, he added. Meaning: ‘I haven’t even got balls! To put it in proper Spanish!’. The man expressed in crude but clear language what the real double problem in Cuba is: 1) The people have to survive on starvation wages paid by the State and 2) the double monetary system is privileging few, whereas the masses have to swallow the gross inequality this gives rise to. It also illustrates the lack of courage of the Cuban people to demand change. Once again we suggest a black ribbon campaign. Peaceful but effective. But who would co-ordinate it? And what for? If it was to introduce Russian KGB-democracy, it would not be worth it. Cuba really does need the ‘tercera posición’, i.e. the Just Third Way.
The double monetary system requires some explanation. In Cuba two currencies circulate side by side, the Cuban peso (Moneda Nacional; MN) and the Cuban Convertible peso (CUC), which can be converted into foreign currencies. The exchange rate is 25 MN to 1 CUC. Wages are paid in Cuban pesos (average 500 - 600 pesos), which is roughly 20 to 22 CUC (approx. US$ 20). The CUC is mostly used in the tourist industry, created to obtain foreign currency reserves for international trade.
Dogs, goats and Trojan horses
Along the road to the town of San Nicolas, a boy told us he bred dogs and goats. He tried to sell us a puppy. This is his way to beat the system. Because dogs and goats are not property of the State, breeding and selling them is a way to make some money. Some of the goats he intended to train for the goat-carts, which entertain the children of Guines at the central plaza on Sundays. Talking about free enterprise!
We also came across a few Trojan horses. Unfortunately, these horses have been infiltrated by counter Trojan horses, which make their effectiveness dubious. It doesn’t matter to us. What we are proposing is both a way out that will bring peace and a way forward for the Cuban people, if they have ears to hear. Solidarism will make all Trojan horses redundant.
On 14 November 2009 we were told to report to the police in Guines. We were questioned about what we are doing. We were courteously treated. It turned out we were in violation of some trifle not worth mentioning. This reminds us of the story of the man who was arrested for peeing alongside the road in Sto. Domingo during the time dictator Trujillo was in power and laws were strictly enforced. The man spent a few days in jail and was then fined 5.75 pesos. He gave them 6 pesos and told them to keep the change, because he had farted too!