[Marxism] Translation (Cuba): How to view the glass?

Marce Cameron marcecameron at gmail.com
Sun Jun 24 22:16:56 MDT 2012

>From "Cuba's Socialist Renewal"
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Superstitious readers may have noted that my last post was dated
Friday April 13. Let me reassure you that nothing bad happened to me
on that day; it just so happens that since then I've had dedicate
myself almost exclusively to completing my undergraduate degree. I'm
now anxiously awaiting the results of exams and assignments.

In this incisive commentary Juventud Rebelde deputy editor Ricardo
Ronquillo Bello refers to one of the first significant policy changes
announced by Raul Castro when he became acting Cuban president:
lifting the ban on citizens staying in Cuban tourist hotels. While
most Cubans can't afford to stay in such hotels —  the aim is to
maximise income for the socialist state from foreign tourism — lifting
the ban was a popular measure and an act of great symbolic
significance. Many Cubans had resented the fact that only foreigners
were entitled to stay in Cuba's best hotels, regardless of
affordability, and pointed out that such discrimination was proscribed
by Cuba's socialist constitution.

In the early 1990s, Cuba turned to foreign tourism as a means to keep
its socialist-oriented economy afloat after the demise of the Soviet
Union and the tightening of the US economic blockade. The ban on
Cubans staying in tourist hotels was aimed at minimising the social
and ideological fallout from the sudden and massive expansion of
tourism in a relatively egalitarian society amid great hardships and
shared sacrifices.

The ethical logic was simple: if the vast majority of Cubans can't
afford to stay in such hotels then no Cuban should be allowed to. In
the name of solidarity, the government pursued a policy of limiting
the possibilities for conspicuous consumption by a minority in the
midst of a national emergency. The ban was also aimed at curbing the
resurgence of prostitution during the Special Period and the growth of
black-market activities aimed at fleecing tourists of their hard
currency, both of which contributed to the rise in social inequality
that accompanied the economic crisis.

Link to translation:

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