Cuba, coalition and culture

By on May 26, 2010 in Thought, Uncategorized

Back in the “60s”, which by now is recognizable as a period  which started for a lot of us in the late 50s and went on well into the 70s (and is still going on for some!), we bought our Che Guevara t-shirts and posters. We are not disappointed or disillusioned with that Cuban revolution and the way things have turned out so far. In the light, though, of what we learn about the high standards of health care and literacy in Cuba in spite of the USA trade embargo and the end of support from the USSR, we read of the lives of dissenters from the political system as manifested in restrictions to free speech. In a recent NYRB article, two Human Rights Watch workers write that “Some outside observers contend that the existence of around two hundred political prisoners has little impact on the lives of the 11 million other Cubans…. [however] .. The political prisoners may be small in number , but they are a chilling reminder to all Cubans of what has been a basic fact of life for half a century: to criticize the Castros is to condemn oneself to years of enforced solitude”. Cuban prison cells for solitary confinement of 3 feet by 6, Guantanamo Bay, the Gulag, rendition, darkness at noon and it ain’t volcanic ash causing it.

In the meantime we have our coalition government proposing to cut quangos by 2% of the £80+ billion (that’s £80+ billion) they apparently cost to run, to help to reduce the “national deficit”.  That should do it.

Anyway, to get away from it all a good read is always available, the current one being The Family Mashber by Der Nister which promises to enthrall for some time to come. Makes a change too from a prolonged period of Am Lit.

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