Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Real Olympics

AVERAGE PER DIEM WAGES IN 1958 (U.S. Dollars)

Agricultural

1. Canada ..................... $7.18
2. New Zealand ........... $6.72
3. Australia .................. $6.61
4. United States .......... $6.08
5. Sweden .................... $5.47
6. Norway .................... $4.38
7. CUBA ....................... $3.00
8. West Germany ........ $2.57
9. Ireland ..................... $2.25
10. Denmark ............... $2.03
11. Belgium .................. $1.56
12. France .................... $1.32
13. Japan ..................... $0.90


Industrial

1. United States .......... $16.80
2. Canada .................... $11.73
3. Sweden .................... $ 8.10
4. Switzerland ............. $ 8.00
5. New Zealand ........... $ 6.72
6. Denmark ................. $ 6.46
7. Norway ................... $ 6.10
8. CUBA ...................... $ 6.00
9. Australia ................. $ 5.82
10. United Kingdom ... $ 5.75
11. Belgium .................. $ 4.72
12. West Germany ...... $ 4.13
13. France .................... $ 3.26


[From the U.N. Statistical Yearbook and the Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1955-1958]


If Cubans earned today what they earned 50 years ago, not even allowing for inflation, their 1958 yearly income of between $1200-$2400 would signify between a 1000-2000 percent increase for all of them. If the Cuban income per capita were still higher than the United Kingdom's, France's, Germany's and Japan's, Cubans today would earn the highest salaries in the world. The Revolution has bequeathed only poverty to the Cuban people, but even if it had accomplished all that its supporters claim for it, through the expedient of 48 years of tyranny, those "achievements" would be rendered insignificant by the fact that if Cuba had never undergone such an artificial transformation, and been allowed, instead, to evolve without the "genius" of Fidel Castro, today its people would have nothing to envy any of these other countries. In fact, it would be Cubans that would be buying up Spain and Canada, not the other way around.

18 comments:

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel,
Besides all the evil and malaises we know so well, the advent of communism in Cuba had a very adverse influx in the make up of Cuban society: it stopped the immigration from countries like Spain, Italy, and other parts of Europe, who were already under communism such as the Balkans, Hungary, Poland and others.
Cuba actually offered a good starting point, and a generous host country to immigrants from the populations of war ravaged Europe.
I even remember a French pastry shop in El Vedado, Sylvain, which was owned by a French immigrant. There were Swedes, Germans -and Americans- establishing colonies in Camaguey. There was a Japanese colony in Isla de Pinos, too. Not to talk about a very lively and productive Jewish community.
The Cuban nation was not a melting pot, it was a quilt, where every patch was proudly part of the whole multicolored piece.

Charlie Bravo said...

I forgot to mention the enterprising Chinese population of Cuba, Chinatown in Havana was as big and as economically active as Chinatown in San Francisco or New York.
They all were attracted by the economic performance of Cuba, and by the character and culture of the nation.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Cuba received more than 1 million immigrants from 1902 to 1958. Cuba's population doubled in that period from 3 million to 6 million. As a percentage of its population, no country in the world received more immigrants during that period, not even the U.S. At least 50 percent of this number were refugees from Fascism in the period immediately before World War II.

Charlie Bravo said...

And Cuba will receive many immigrants after the tyranny is gone. That has been always part of our national make up and it will be a trade mark of the new Cuba.
Actually, in 1958 there were more Americans living in Cuba than Cubans living in the United States.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Well, parts of Cuba, such as the Isle of Pines, may receive American immigrants again, and perhaps some "demographically-correct" cities in the mainland. But the fact that Cuba is now a predominantly black country will curtail the flow of immigrants except, perhaps, from Haiti or the Dominican Republic.

Charlie Bravo said...

Not really Manuel....
In my trips through Europe I have spoken with several unknowns who want and will to move to Cuba once the tyranny is gone.
It's always a good feeling when you're in a bar in Italy or Spain and somebody strikes a conversation with you without knowing you're a foreigner and then they realize that you are a Cuban who is not a tool of the tyranny.
They open up, and I met several people who are willing to sell everything in their home countries, re-establish themselves in Cuba with their know-how and their willingness to participate in the reconstruction of the nation.
I think that we will receive an influx of European and American immigration without precedents in times of peace.
If the USA reinstates the draft, that will be a sure-fire reality.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Are draft dodgers the kind of immigrants we want? Aren't their intentions in immigrating much as those of fugitives from the law (which in fact they are also)? Let Canada keep the draft dodgers. They acclimate very nicely there.

I hope you are right about the influx of other American and European immigrants to Cuba after the end of the Castro era, but I doubt it. They may come to Cuba because of the mulatas but they won't immigrate because of the mulatos.

Remember that pre-revolutionary Cuba was a predominantly white country. Americans and Europeans don't immigrate to black countries.

Charlie Bravo said...

I am pretty positive they will, most of them know Cuba already.
I am not talking about draft dodgers, I am talking about families who don't want their sons or daughters drafted to "politically correct wars" because, believe me, the draft will have social and racial quotas as intended by Chawlie Rangel.
When I lived in Havana it was not predominantly black, nor certain areas of the country side, specially in Western Cuba. Palestina is another reality, altogether....

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

The Castro regime has prevented blacks from moving to Havana in recent years, but once Cuba is free, no Cuban national regardless of his color will have to seek permission to relocate to Havana or anywhere else in our country.

Charlie Bravo said...

I don't think they have prevented them from moving to Havana, on the contrary Manuel, all the cops from Palestina are blacks who by the way, hate Havana blacks more than the Devil hates Christ on the Cross.
They also have "contingentes" and "brigadas de respuesta rapida" composed mainly by former inhabitants of the Eastern tip of Havana.
In a free Cuba, one of the things that need to be done is even development in all regions to prevent the appearance of ghost towns and the depopulation of urban and rural areas.
I know at least a couple of people working on that in Cuba -on their own, with no government interference- as a plan to be presented to the government of a free republic.

Charlie Bravo said...

Sorry for the lapsus, I meant "former inhabitants of the Eastern tip of CUBA" (instead of Havana)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Demographics is destiny.

Cuba's destiny was irrevocably altered by the Revolution of 1959.

There is no going back, but we can go forward recognizing that new conditions call for new approaches. European and American immigrants aren't going to save our country. We must do that ourselves with all the elements that comprise our country.

If Cuba is destined to be a "black Republic," then so be it. Our goal then should be to make it the most prosperous and contented black Republic in the world. Which won't be hard.

Charlie Bravo said...

Curiously, that's the way my friends plans go by. And I agree with it.
No, immigration doesn't equal salvation, immigration only means new blood and brains and skills and points of view thrown into the mix, all of which are badly needed.
Cuba will thrive again once it's free.

Vana said...

Yes Charlie, Cuba will thrive again, of that I'm sure, but I hope that freedom comes sooner than later, just us exiles returning, will help it prosper, hopefully it will one day be better, or at least just as good as pre 1959, we had a reason to be proud then, and we will again in the future

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

Cuba will be great again, but she will never be great in the same way that she was.

Nor, for that matter, shall the U.S. ever be again what it was in the 1950s.

If we had personally witnessed that evolution(?) ourselves over the last 50 years it would not be such a shock to us, but a disappointment withal.

Yet it is not Cuba that must adapt to our reality; it is we who must adapt to hers. There is no other way. There is no other choice.

Vana said...

Manuel:
You are so right when you say, it is us who must adapt to Cuba's reality, we have been away almost fifty years, I think most of us have been spoiled rotten while living in exile, besides we are getting old, it'll probably be up to the younger generation to make Cuba great again, hope they do it with the same love we feel for it, and the respect we have for the Apostle.
I have a sense of urgency and despair at the thought, that I may die, and not see my Cuba free, the way I have longed for it, well it just wouldn't be fair, but then again who said life was fair, to live is to know pain.

Jewbana said...

I rembember than even in the early days of the "robolucion", after the government confiscated my mother's business, she was able to get a job as an accountant. Her salary was $400.00/ month back in 1965. Judging by the current wages, it's more than obvious, "Para atras como el cangrejo", they wish.

Albert Quiroga said...

It will be up to a younger generation to bring Cuba back from the dead. Us "oldsters" can play a vital role in helping educate the kaSStro-isolated people in the ways of rebuilding a well-functioning, harmonious, and free society which offers opportunity to all. Because after all is said and done, I believe that, if nothing else, the "old" Cuba, even with all its flaws and foibles, was a land of OPPORTUNITY in which the contributions of all segments of society were steadily improving life for the citizenry and modernizing the country. The bounty and the wealth resulting from the hard work and effort of all Cubans - natives and immigrants - was steadily percolating through all societal layers. If the catastrophe had not taken place, by 1980 Cuba would have been a helluva country and the average Cuban would have been, I am convinced, pretty satisfied with, and very proud of, his Perla de Las Antillas.

Speaking of immigrants, one of the most fascinating Cubans I have ever met was a lady, "Estela," of Cubano-Finnish extraction. She told me her father and other family members back in cold Finland joined a group of their countrymen who had chosen emigration to Cuba at the beginning of the 20th Century. "They traveled from Oriente to Pinar del Rio on horseback, most of them...then they got involved in citrus farming. It was a small colony of Finns and we tended to stick together, but we all eventually learned Spanish and Cuba got in our blood." Her Cuban-Spanish was flawless, and had it not been for her surname which gave away her origins, you would have thought you were speaking to a very nice and quite interesting compatriota.

Her husband, another Finn, wound up being Finland's consul in Cuba -ironically, he fought the Russkies during the Winter War in '39-'40 - then wound up rubbing elbows with them years later, half a world away.