Friday, April 4, 2008

Notable & Optimistic: Cubans Have "Substantial Disposable Income"

"Over time, these measures [instituted by Raúl Castro] will erode the myth that no Cubans have substantial disposable hard currency income." -- Phil Peters, "'Prohibitions" Biting the Dust," The Cuban Triangle, April 1, 2008

What the ever optimistic Phil Peters calls the "disposable" income of Cubans on the island is actually the disposable income of Cubans outside the island, whose remittances to their relatives will allow them to buy those hitherto prohibited "luxury" items which Raúl and his coterie of military-industrial robber barons will sell them at mark-ups of 100-5000%

This is like taking a homeless man from the Bowery (if there are any of those anymore), setting him down on Fifth Avenue with two-bits to his name and telling him that the world is his oyster.
What would his only choice be?

To beg.

The only difference is that George W. Bush won't come at the end of the day to cheat him of his quarters.

This interesting thread continues on The Cuban Triangle with more observations from Peters and me and even a cameo appearance from Longfellow at his most original, arguing that Cubans on the island are much prettier than those ugly exiles. Peters' reaction is the definition of "nonplussed."

While you're visiting the blog , please take note of the beautiful photographs of historic places in Cuba. Peters never takes pictures of the ruins. But, as I said, he is a great optimist.


POSTSCRIPT:

Answer to Phil Peters:

There is some pleasure to be derived from looking at Buckingham Palace even if one does not have the remotest chance of ever living there. I suppose a Cuban feels a comparable sensation when he gazes on a cellphone at the museum where it is kept. Because it is truly a museum and not a store. People go there to look at the future which is somebody else's past. To look and not touch.

This is not enough. It is not even anything at all. "Let them eat cake" is all that these measures (which you mercifully refrain from calling "reforms") amount to.

But those as you, Phil, who have awaited so patiently and long for even the dimmest most transitory flicker of anything, cannot help seeing in this mirage the dawning of a new age when it is no more than a sanctioned revival of an old instinct: the desire to consume, as natural and necessary as any other desire but repressed in Cuba for nearly a half-century.

But consumerism is not enough to break the chains of tyranny as we have seen in China. There, where luxuries are no longer unthinkable, their enjoyment has been conditioned on the acceptance of tyranny.

Even if this Consumer Age were as real in Cuba as it is in China, the assumption should be that it would usher-in no era of freedom but stregthen the repression by making tyranny self-sustaining or even profitable.

http://cubantriangle.blogspot.com/2008/04/canned-prohibitions-assessment.html

19 comments:

john longfellow aka lou dobbs said...

Anon said: Go to Cuba, you will see, average cubans living in Cuba (the Real ones) are much more attractive than the "historic exilio"= who are generally paler and fatter like that congresswoman - how ugly and scary looking


I never wrote that. However, i would have no doubt penned my name to it, as i totally agree. Certainly most Cuban exiles would also agree.

One has to look no further than the Miss. Universe beauty pageants. There are no comparisons in regards to the inner and outer beauty between a Miss. Cuba, and a Miss Miami Cuban exile. Miss. Cuba wins hands down in every category, especially attitude.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

John:

Communist Cuba does not participate in the Miss Universe pageant. There is no "Miss Cuba."

And will you kindly explain why you think the Cuban women in Cuba are more beautiful than the Cuban women in Miami?

Anonymous said...

phil peters=chivato

Ms Calabaza said...

hmmmm . . .maybe it's the soy burgers mixed with maggots that the make people in the island better lookin'?

Alex said...

That was a good response, Manuel. (And I liked your using "coterie").

john longfellow aka lou dobbs said...

MAT,

Metaphorically speaking "if" there was a Miss. Cuba vs. a Miss Miami Cuban exile. Miss Cuba would be the clear choice. Having said that, i was unaware that Fidel did not allow Cuban women to compete. He probably suspects if the world saw the Cuban women. That there surely would be an invasion of hard-up American men.


As far as your question, why women on the island are more beautiful than in Miami!

First, one must judge beauty from within, then work your way out. Generally, "all" women in Miami, including Cubans tend to be very ugly on the inside. Driven more by money, and other superfiicial things. This in of itself makes them ugly.

Moving to the outer beauty. Much like the European women. Cuban women live closer to the land. Traveling to work, other than by vehicle. If an American woman has to go to CVS, she will jump her fat ass into a big SUV, and drive a half mile. A Cuban woman will more than likely walk there, showing an inner-toughness. Thereby also keeping herself in shape.

Finally, there is the mixture of races that is common in Cuba, but uncommon in Miami. Can a pasty Miss. England compare to a tanned Miss. Brazil, or a paleMiss. Sweeden compare to a darkened Miss Equador? That is why Latin American women generally fare better than European or American women in these pageants. And is why American and European women spends thousands of hours and dollars in attempt to obtain a similiar shade of skin color.

Pretty simple, when you break it down into components!!

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

John:

I refuse to take sides in this argument. Cuban women are Cuban women whether living here or in Cuba. Take them all or leave them all.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

John:

Actually both Brazil and Ecuador send the blondest women in their countries to these pageants, usually descendents of German immigrants. For them, it is blondeness that is desirable and exotic.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes women in pageants...some topic. john longfellow...many of the most striking females in beauty contests have emerged from Venezuela, and most if not all of them have been blanquitas...not Germanic nor Slavic, but descendants of Latin Europe. These Latin beauties from Venezuela have done very well indeed in these silly contests, and, at least in terms of phenotype (I have no access to their genotypes) they have all been white, white like their ancestors in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France, and decidedly not mixed-race. But this says more about the pageants than about beauty itself, as there are beautiful phenotypes everywhere, mixed or not.
Mamey

Anonymous said...

Maria Conchita Alonso (a Cuban) won Ms. Venezuela but kept her real place of birth pretty quiet for years.

Vana said...

Well Today where I sit and write I'm 57 years old, still at my age I'm a damn good looking woman, I'm not bragging, I left Cuba when I was eleven years old, in my teen years, my 20's my 30's and yes even my 40's I could have broken your heart, except I was never promiscuous, have been happily married for 38 years to a Cuban of course. Ugly please, give me a break, oh and my daughter, wow wee

john longfellow aka lou dobbs said...

MAT:

Well, then perhaps it is just "me." As i find that dark haired, mixed-raced latin woman has far more beauty than pale, light-skinned featured women.

And MAT, if you are trying to compare a Cuban woman, and a Cuban-American woman from Miami, then you must not live in Miami. That is like trying to compare an American Southern girl, with an American New York girl. Of course there are differences.


Also, it does not surprise me that Venezula, and other nations gather up their blonde hair women to present to the world, and hide their darkened beauties. As the white populations of those countries tend to be very self-loathing, and often racist.

Only in America can dark-skinned/mixed raced Cubans like the man that ran Coca-Cola, and the stunning and talented Eva Menandez can become celebrated from the white American. While white Cubans, try to hide their dark-skinned brothers and sisters in the closet. Even looking down their noses based only on their shade of skin-color. Jobs and opportunities being handed out based on said skin-color. Heroes based on said skin-color. Beauty pageants ribbons and awards based on this Cuban privilege of white skin. Lest the white Cuban clique show the world that there is more than white cubans that make up the Cuban community and history.


Fidel the racist certaintly avoided showing Charlie Rangel and other black Americans the life of the dark-skinned and mixed raced Cubans in his carefully guided tour of Cuba. Lest black America get a clue to Apartheid #2 in its backyard and demand swift action to free the oppressed.

Yes anonymous, there is no doubt that Latin America presents her blonde hair and blue eye women to the world. As Latin America is skilled at showing to the world what it wants it to see. Especially white Cubans, and often to her detriment.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Yeah, John, Celia Cruz was very white.

Or was she the exception to your rule that "white is right" in the Cuban exile community?

Did you ever notice that 99% of those in charge in Cuba are white?

Since all officials on the island are appointed or approved by Castro, is it a coincidence that almost all of them are white?

The only Cuban racist that I have ever known in my life was Fidel Castro. He introduced "Jim Crow," segregation and apartheid to Cuba while claiming that he has improved the lot of those whom he has doubly victimized: first as Cubans and then as blacks.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

BTW, the late Roberto Goizueta, CEO of Coca Cola, was as white as white can be. In the end his "homeland" was Coca Cola, not Cuba, since his dream was reopening Cuba to Coke (or should that be, opening a Coke in Cuba?) and getting one into the hand of Fidel Castro. Goizueta was by no means unique, of course. All great capitalists are "internationalists." They have that in common with the Communists.

joep said...

"Over time, these measures [instituted by Raúl Castro] will erode the myth that no Cubans have substantial disposable hard currency income." -- Phil Peters...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

What a moronic f*cking a*sh*le! Who is Phil Peters?! Can we ship him to Cuba on a Clik Mexicana flight from Cancun with $15USD in his pocket and see how much disposable income he has left after trying to survive a lo Cubano for a month in San Miguel del Padrón?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

joep:

It's those rose-colored glasses that he wears.

Phil Peters said...

Manuel, I hate to change the subject here, but if you look at what I wrote, it was not that Cubans in general have hard currency income.

It was that some do, and not only from remittances -- entrepreneurs, people in the tourism sector or who work for foreign companies, people in various Cuban companies who earn some part of their income in chavitos, etc. Not to mention people in the black market. I was not arguing that all these incomes are high, and I didn't make any claim about the proportion of Cubans who earn hard currency income.

But if you think that the only Cubans who have hard currency to spend are those who get help from abroad, you are missing something.

I don't know what motivated these measures but I'm sure that they took into account that they might result in an increased flow of remittances. On that score I agree with you, and it's not the first time they would figure a way for Miami to pay for something.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Phil:

There is some pleasure to be derived from looking at Buckingham Palace even if one does not have the remotest chance of ever living there. I suppose a Cuban feels a comparable sensation when he gazes on a cellphone at the museum where it is kept. Because it is truly a museum and not a store. People go there to look at the future which is somebody else's past. To look and not touch.

This is not enough. It is not even anything at all. "Let them eat cake" is all that these measures (which you mercifully refrain from calling "reforms") amount to.

But those as you, Phil, who have awaited so patiently and long for even the dimmest most transitory flicker of anything, cannot help seeing in this mirage the dawning of a new age when it is no more than a sanctioned revival of an old instinct: the desire to consume, as natural and necessary as any other desire but repressed in Cuba for nearly a half-century.

But consumerism is not enough to break the chains of tyranny as we have seen in China. There, where luxuries are no longer unthinkable, their enjoyment has been conditioned on the acceptance of tyranny.

Even if this Consumer Age were as real in Cuba as it is in China, the assumption should be that it would usher-in no era of freedom but stregthen the repression by making tyranny self-sustaining or even profitable.

Aida Rosario Gil said...

I'm a Cuban woman and actually the idea expounded by the gentleman who said that Cuban women on the island are generally more beautiful because they tend to be darker is in fact true to Cuban culture - our ideal of beauty is the mulatto, a fusion of our Spanish and African culture, it's our cafe con leche. In Cuba neither extreme, being extremely White or being extremely Black (colonization has especially moved us to viciously despise the latter) is considered attractive. I'm of mixed race myself and would have it no other way :). Therefore, to decry or denounce the gentleman's comment is faulty and reflects a lack of acknowledgement of Cuban standards of beauty or recognition of what we consider the epitome of our culture. But to say that all Miami Cuban women are ugly is mean- goodness, that's a mean thing to say!

And, to add a personal opinion I would agree that a great majority of the Cuban women who are predominantly of more Spanish origins (as Hispano-Cubans were the ones who first began to migrate and had the means to do so, that is a discussion for another time however) are not as attractive as their olive, tanned and brown skinned counterparts whether in Miami, Union City/West New York or on the island - pero soy mulata...so I'm biased hahahaha.

And yes I would agree that the average Cuban woman (in Cuba) has a smaller build. That's Latin America though- when you're food isn't injected with a billion hormones you tend to be a normal weight and size. I can honestly say that compared to my cousins, and I was born in Cuba, I'm practically an amazon lol, and I'm 5'6'' weighing 135lbs, that's slim or svelte in the US, lol- it's the food because we all have the same genes, and according to thsoe genes I shouldn't be over 5'3'' lol

However women in Miami have more access to beauty products and accessories. This is one of the things taht makes me sad about the embargo and certain Cuban policies - it's denying women the right and tools they need to exude femininity. There are no beauty supply stores - so I'm always a favorite when I go every year because I bring them :)