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Jobless in Cuba?

HAVANA – At a state project to refurbish a decaying building in Old Havana, one worker paints a wall white while two others watch. A fourth sleeps in a wheelbarrow positioned in a sliver of shade nearby and two more smoke and chat on the curb.

President Raul Castro has startled the nation lately by saying about one in five Cuban workers may be redundant.

It's a common sight in communist Cuba. Here, nearly everyone works for the state and official unemployment is minuscule, but pay is so low that Cubans like to joke that "the state pretends to pay us and we pretend to work."

Now, facing a severe budget deficit, the government has hinted at restructuring or trimming its bloated work force. Such talk is causing tension, however, in a country where guaranteed employment was a building block of the 1959 revolution that swept Fidel Castro to power.

Fascinating article! Please read it and respond, I'd love your opinions.


Asked by mancosmomma at 3:33 PM on Jul. 18, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 19 (7,315 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Do I agree? I fled the Island to prevent this type of existence, because they are not living they are barely existing. The get pay so little it is not enough enough to keep roof over their heads much less to eat and find anything that would be considered food. Everyone in that Island goes out everyday with an empty bag hoping to bring it back with some sort of food they might find in the black market, paying an arm and a leg for it. If they do not find "something" they do not eat for the day and so goes every single day, I call this existence! There is no ambition because there is nowhere to get it from.
    It is a sad beautiful Island that has been slow torturing their inhabitants for the last 51 years.

    You got to give credit to the Cuban persona, they will come up with solutions to the lack of anything, their ingenuity is what has kept them alive for this long..

    Answer by older at 3:44 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • It just makes me wonder why so many here can NOT comprehend the inevitable. If the ones in power now get their way that is what we will face in 20-30 years.

    Answer by Carpy at 3:50 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • Older I realize that. The unemployment and whatnot the post was about is what I was refering to.

    And I am glad you made it out.

    Answer by Carpy at 6:01 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • I am dying to live like they do in Cuba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    Guaranteed employment by the government with itsy-bitsy wages!

    Answer by mustbeGRACE at 3:42 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • brave not only do they risk their lives doing what they do but they are unafraid and courageous, they have had the courage to stand up to the regime who has been stomping on their citizens for years, a lot more gutsy than any man there.

    Answer by older at 5:47 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • And to think so many want socialism here in this country.


    Answer by Natesmom507 at 8:19 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • It just makes me wonder why so many here can NOT comprehend the inevitable. If the ones in power now get their way that is what we will face in 20-30 years.

    Carpy, what happened in Cuba and was has being going on for the last 51 years will never happen here, the root of all evil are the freedoms we all enjoy here and they lack in Cuba. People have been in the worst of conditions in Cuban prisons for speaking against the regime, this is what the ladies in white an organization of very gutsy women in Cuba have been demonstrating about, and have paid dearly for it, all they do is walk in the streets dressed in white and carrying posters to free the political prisoners, and they have been beaten to a pulp for it and yet they go out and do it again over and over and have accomplished the release of some of those prisoners now suffering all kinds of diseases and ailments from the poor treatment received.
    These ladies are very cont.

    Answer by older at 5:45 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • Thank u for bringing up this article. It sparks a lot of criticism regardless of where u stand (for or against Cuban govt and Baracks "socialist" views.
    First, Cuba has undergone downfall in economy after the Cold War. Russia was a huge support for Cuba. It allowed the people mr jobs, opportunity to travel, and it's effects. During my trip to Cuba, in 2000, I met many highly educated cubans working as taxi drivers, tour guides, etc. In a country where education is available to all, u had very few opportunities to utilize their resources. These are facts.
    Next, in neo colonial countries, for example Mexico, you see very similar conditions. Although education is not entirely free, if u r one of the lucky ones, u can attend a public university for 50cents a semester. However, unless you have family w $$ u will land a sucessful job. Unfortunately this is not true for the majority of graduate students. When I lived in Mexico I

    Answer by Vero0724 at 4:04 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • Met graduate students who were fortunate to find a job that barely made ends meet. This is a fact.

    Now, would Cuba be better off as a neocolonial country? I don't agree.
    1)Mexico had rampid poverty where people live on the streets or build communities in the dumps
    2)mexico's government has proven to be worthless since it is governed by the rich which are placed in those positions by the US
    3)mexico's goal is to modernize the country, by doing so it alienates more than half of their population.
    Mexico is an example of neocolonial country besides 80% of it import (oil) is sold to the US. Yet their situation is similar to Other 3rd world countries.

    Answer by Vero0724 at 4:11 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • One of my professors in Cuba told us about a visit he took to Mexico. Before, they he had traveled to Russia. He said many people asked him if he planned to return to Cuba and he would always reply, yes. We asked him why didn't he stay? He said, I have a wife and son. We live 24 miles from my work. I ask for rides to get here. We are limited in our food, clothing and home. No luxuries, but we have the essentials. It was too difficult for me to see a child like my son begging on the street with raggedy clothes when next to him there was a store full of pants and food. How can a country deny a child their basic rights!?

    Homeless are not allowed in Cuba. Eberyone is provided w shelter, food, medical treatment and an education.
    In the US there are more children living inpoverty than adults.
    When I worked w a congressmember I visited many nonprofit organizations. One was a womens homeless shelter. There are few shelters,

    Answer by Vero0724 at 4:19 PM on Jul. 18, 2010