The Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI do not know if I’m “ratting someone out,” although I do not think that I am because the illegal hardware and housewares market that has flourished alongside the Carlos III mall could not be more evident. About a year ago they closed an old tenement and self-employed vendors set up shop across the street from the park entrance of this commercial hub. There on organized stands you can find everything from a lightbulb to a selection of faucets, from pipe fittings to waterproofing.

In any event, trying to place the blame here would have no effects on such a flourishing market, today comprising most of the housefronts of this area, which display an amalgam of the same products forbidden last year and more as well. Young people strive to be more solicitous than their peers and expound in detail about the virtues of this or that merchandise, or if they don’t have what you need they assure you they can get it in two hours, or it can be resolved by the following day at the latest, all this with a professionalism that is lacking in State-run establishments.

These kids have learned the laws of the market on the fly and without a single class in theory. The technocrats who “update the model” could learn a lot from a visit to Retiro Street.

December 6 2012

Human Rights

For more or less the last five years the national media has begun to talk about human rights. But not all of them. Education and health seems to be “the Human Rights that we advocate,” a narrow concept that allows them to appear to be talking about the subject when in fact they are ignoring it.

If in the United States (I mention it because in the official press it is obligatory to do so) Human Rights are violated, it is the concern of the Americans. Individually, in organized groups created for that purpose, or appealing to the courts, they can fight for their rights. What worries me is that in Cuba those that “are not advocated” in the official propaganda are “forgotten.”

So the government is procrastinating — and will continue to procrastinate — in ratifying the U.N. Covenants on Human Rights (which they already signed in New York). We can’t speak selectively about Human Rights.

December 10 2012