For Harold, in relation to Tony’s post:
I am a lover of history, and history of the Second World War, the Cold War and the disappearance of the socialist countries of Europe, is for me like reading best sellers, especially when we can know what comes to light when archived are opened and manuscripts emerge from drawers. All of it supported with excellent audiovisuals because I am also a cinephile.
As the story has been uncovered I’ve become convinced that Cuba is too much a carbon copy of these structures that are maintained, even twenty years later, which leads me to believe its fate will be the same. And as Tony is not the only one who travels, I will tell a story.
I visited Germany (East and West) in 1979. I was staying at the Stadt Hotel in Berlin, steps from the Brandenburg Gate, just in front of the television tower. Very comfortable, yes, but I couldn’t get over my amazement at the abundance the Germans enjoyed.
On the hotel’s facade, the whole length of its twenty something floors, there was an enormous number 30, corresponding to the 30th anniversary of the installation of Socialism. After that, I was anxious for Cuba to cover the remaining years to its 30th anniversary of Socialism, to be able to enjoy the same bonanza.
When we’re young we often come to hasty conclusions. Not only did our 30th anniversary not meet these expectations, but shortly afterwards, East Germany didn’t want to hear anything about Socialism.
I remember my impression of that country, knowing that unchecked, knowing that the reunification would be difficult for the economy because the East was considerably behind the West, I took that into account in my idea of development. Later, I began to understand the causes, and began to find the similarities with Cuba.
Everything indicates that material incentives are more persuasive and create more, working for themselves makes the self-employed put in extra effort to move their business forward, if the licenses weren’t so limited (they’re available almost exclusively for services), we would observe an increase in productivity, but the State doesn’t want to open its hand, and so a circular contradiction is created.
P.S. Princess Napoleon’s is real kitsch, the gift clock, another like what Sorolla gave as a wedding present to the Prince of Borbon. Nothing impresses royalty.
April 16 2011