Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

March 1, 1999, Cuba Free Press. >

DOWN WITH THE DOLLAR! By Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press. (Translated by volunteers for Cuba Free Press.)

HAVANA - The Cuban government blames the United States for promoting crime and dissent. To that effect, it approved two laws to eradicate criminals, dissidents and independent journalists. Some people are now saying that in order to prevent tropical socialism from capitalist contamination, the government should forbid the circulation of the dollar.

People are murmuring "Let them take their ideological purity and its 'Guevarist'* New Man utopia to its ultimate consequences. Don't allow the dollar to continue, in effect, to own the land of "Fatherland or Death, We will overcome."**

One retiree, referring to the laws and accusations that common crimes taking place in Cuba today are instigated by the United States, said, "Let them close the 'shoppings' (dollar-only' stores ) or make them do business in pesos. These (laws) are the craziest thing I've heard in my life."

Her husband, also retired, said he never understood why the Cuban government which professes hatred for the "American way of life" took away the penalty for the use of dollars and has permitted Miami "worms"*** to come to the island whenever they want. Also, he doesn't agree with direct flights from Miami or family remittances originating in the United States. "In fact," he said, "remittances from abroad should not be allowed."

Other people have expressed similar opinions. A young woman said, "Cuba is today a great contradiction. On one side they fault the Americans for everything. On the other, everybody watches American films." Her boyfriend, a student like her, said, "If the intention is to encase us in a 'hyperbaric' Communist chamber, Cuban television should not be showing American films as part of its weekly programming."

Both said they thought it is time that everyone who wears any 'yanqui' symbol as part of their clothing, should be stopped on the street and fined. "Even Tommy Hilfiger pieces of clothing should be forbidden, as this designer is from the United States."

Of course, this anti-American discussion is not sincere. People talk like this to hide the impossibility of publicly declaring their alarm regarding the more repressive route Cuba is traveling. And, this is happening when more signs of tolerance and flexibility were to be expected from a government treated with tolerance by the world despite having reached power by insurgence and having retained it for 40 years.

A housewife said she agrees that everything originating in or linked to the United States should be forbidden, "but, most important, no citizen of the United States should step on our ascetic land, whether they are exiled relatives, black members of Congress, religious representatives, artists, scientists, educators or athletes."

Her partner in marriage for more than 40 years does not agree with such extremes. "I want the Cuban government to continue showing the world its true face - anachronistic and totalitarian - because the saddest thing is that here we know the truth, that they want the blockade lifted not to normalize relations with the Americans, but to remain in power without giving up any of it."

* Alludes to Ché Guevara. ** ¡Patria o Muerte, Venceremos! is a popular revolutionary slogan. *** Exiles are commonly reffered to as "gusanos" (worms).

Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.

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