Cubanomics

June 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm 2 comments

large_flag_of_cuba
I’m back from the little/big island of Cuba. What to say? It’s so hard to explain the absurdity of a falsely communist state. Cuba’s decaying government is riddled with hypocrisy/poor man socialism, and to top it off, its citizens are not granted the right to express themselves. For an American youth to understand this sad mixture of unrelenting stupidity and faux-Marxist values, I can only sum it up by saying:

“Cuba, is, like, totally gay.”

A prime, easy-to-understand example of the gayness of Cuba’s government is its soda, or, as the locals call them, “refrescos.” Brands like Ciego Montero and TuKola (their version of Sprite and Coca-Cola), go for around $1 CUC, or Cuban Convertible Peso, which is slightly more than $1 American Dollar. Now, for a 2-Liter bottle, that’s a good deal, right? Except for the fact the Cubans themselves are paid in Moneda Nacional, Cuba’s currency for its citizens.

The tourist currency of CUCs was created in the 90s, during the Cuban Economic Crisis (referred to as the “Special Period when they stopped receiving aid from Russia), in the hopes that it would stimulate tourism and generate more revenue for the Island. The result? 1CUC equals 24 National Pesos. To give you an idea of how absurd that is, here’s a rough list of what you can get for 24 Pesos:

2 ten-minute car rides in a collectivo (a standard cuban taxi)
60 Bus rides
8 icecream cones
34 pounds of Guayaba fruit
5 movie tickets
1/4 of a bottle of shampoo
1/3 of a tube of toothpaste

The average monthly Cuban salary? 2,400 pesos. $10 USD. A soda, therefore, is 1/10th of a Cuban’s monthly income. What the fuck.

If I were to transfer this to USA terms, the results are infuriating. Let’s say I make $2,000 a month, giving me the 24K that most lower-income Americans receive every year. Now, imagine sodas in America being on the same scope as Cuba’s, making it $200 for a liter of coca-cola. Ridiculous.

It’s insane, it’s unfair, and it’s just one of many pricey items that the state deems an “extravagance”, and therefore unnecessary to make affordable. Other “extravagant” items include things like soap, shampoo, meat, and internet access (all only available in CUCs).

That $1CUC soda is a luxury that most Cubans can’t afford. What does a country say about itself when buying a drink is equal to 1/10 of its own employees’ monthly pay? The worst is that this is just a superficial example. The disparity for things like Advil, Calcium Pills and a bottle of water are even worse. A country divided, a country of two currencies. Fiscally speaking, Cuba won’t last for long. It just can’t.

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Entry filed under: Fucking Crazy, Olivia, Politics Palace. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alisaurus  |  June 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    All of that completely sucks. But I guess it can be construed as a positive experience because I’m sure it made you appreciate living in America even more. I know I certainly do after reading this. So bravo!

    Reply
  • 2. BHU  |  July 2, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Un bezzzzzito desde Cubita lindaaaa!!!!!
    Us

    Reply

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