Friday, May 7, 2010

What I Learned in Cuba

On May 4th, Zulema and I and a group of students landed in Houston and made our way through immigration and customs. Almost the entire group was “randomly” selected for secondary screening. The customs agents spent an hour going through Zulema and my bags, opening each letter that Zulema’s Cuban classmates had sent back to her class in Portland as part of a pen pal exchange. The agent informed us that the only items we were allowed to bring back were books and educational supplies, but he generously ignored the key chains, baseball bat and other artisanal paraphernalia in our bags. He did, however, cut open a “tape ball” in Zulema’s bag, which is a ball of paper covered in scotch tape that is used by Cuban kids to play baseball. Even though he could see that the ball was just paper and tape, he confiscated it along with a feather she had found in Pinar del Rio.

The customs agent, who had lived in Miami, asked me about Cuba and the situation in the supermarkets there. I told him that the supermarkets were quite empty and that it was hard to find food. Then I commented, “the embargo is working well.” He didn’t smile. The agent was a scuba instructor, and he asked about the diving in Cuba. As we were ready to leave, I told him that I hoped one day he would be able to visit Cuba to go diving. The other students who had a few cigars with them and planchao (rum boxes) were allowed to keep them. There was a brief debate among two customs agents about where a ceramic mug counted as art, a conversation that I wish I could have recorded for its sheer absurdity. All in all, the agents were not overly strict or abusive, but why does one have to made to feel like a criminal for travelling to Cuba and bringing back a tape ball. As we left the customs area, Zulema whispered to me “I don’t like security.” Neither do I, I thought.

The last few weeks in Cuba were filled with talks, concerts, May Day marches, despedidas, and trying to squeeze the last drops out of our experience. Mariela Castro, the daughter of Raul Castro, who is the head of CENESEX, a sexual education institute, came and spoke with us. She is credited with helping the government to adopt a more open and accepting position toward gays, lesbians and transsexuals, but when the students asked her about the limitations on Cubans to form independent organizations, she looked at them as if they were living on a different island. The students characterized her as a “politician” and an “actress”. Our final Voces talk was by Fernando Pérez, arguably the most important Cuban film director. He has just released a film about the young José Martí, which can be read as an critique of the limits of political freedom in Cuba today. Pérez has a soft-spoken and humble manner about him, and spoke quite movingly about his struggle to make movies reflecting and commenting on Cuban reality from within the Revolution.

At 5 am on May Day, I could hear the sounds of a marching band playing the Beatles song “Hey Jude” as the people gathered to march to the Plaza of the Revolution for the annual celebration of workers and the Revolution. It is ironic to hear that song because the Beatles were prohibited at the beginning of the revolution as dangerous and capitalist music, but now the Beatles were easily incorporated into the Revolutionary ritual of May Day. Thousands of people paraded in front of the Martí monument carrying signs supporting the revolution. Some workplaces and schools force or strongly encourage, their workers to march on May Day, while others seemed to be out there of their own will. There was supposedly a speech by Raul Castro, but I couldn’t ascertain whether it was recorded or he delivered the address in person. But it didn’t really matter either way, the march was its own speech, everyone in unison with one message, “long live the revolution.” I wondered to myself, “what will May Day look like the year after Fidel dies?”

On my final night in Havana, my friends who managed to score some lobster and shrimp on the black market prepared a despedida dinner for me. Eating well in Cuba always requires creativity, ingenuity and buying on the black market. The conversation turned heated between the Cubans, with the younger Cubans yelling that they just want the “lies” to stop. “We’ll still be living in poverty, but don’t try to sell me the idea that everything is beautiful, and the public health, and education system are wonderful.” The middle-aged Cuban stood up, breathless, and began to shout that none of them would have been anything without the revolution. “You would be guajiros from the countryside if not for the revolution,” she shouted, adding “cojones” for emphasis. “Bueno,” the young Cuban said, “esta bien.” “We will leave this shit to you, and we are going to leave the island because we can’t take this anymore.”

The evening ended with all of us driving down the malecon, laughing till we cried about the drunk drivers that almost killed us all, the langosta that never seemed to get finished, and this island that we all hated and loved in equal measure, and sometimes more.

Here are some of the things I learned in my 3 months in Cuba:

1) That having tickets to an event doesn’t guarantee entry.

2) That not having tickets doesn’t mean you are not getting in.

3) Busses may stop before or after the bus stop, and they may pass and not stop at all.

4) There may be different prices in restaurants for foreigners and Cubans, and they may have different offerings.

5) It is illegal to buy lobster and shrimp outside of tourist restaurants but if you go to the agromercado, some guy will sidle up to you and whisper “langosta, camarones.”

6) That Cubans who rent rooms usually rent more rooms than they have a legal right to rent, and that the inspectors are paid off to look the other way.

7) That being white in Cuba helps you get into places where darker people are denied access, and that white people rarely get harassed by the police.

8) That pesos can mean Cuban pesos or convertible pesos, and that dollars can mean convertible pesos. Cubans also don’t like their moneda nacional which they call “bad money.”

9) That there are virtually no homeless people in Cuba.

10) That many Cubans are hungry but few are seriously malnourished.

11) That most theater, music concerts, and sporting events are free or almost free.

12) That the US economic embargo really hurts the Cuban economy.

13) That the Cuban system is to blame for a good share of the failures of the Cuban economy.

14) That not everyone who complains about the Cuban government is a mercenary on the pay of the imperialist yanquis.

15) That some dissidents are tools of the imperialist yanquis.

16) That Granma is a source of misinformation, and that you have no idea what is happening in Cuba by reading it.

17) That reading the international press on Cuba also gives you no sense of what is going on in Cuba.

18) That foreigners who visit Cuba for two weeks have no idea what is going on, which goes for foreigners who visit for three months as well.

19) That Cubans who have lived on the island their whole life also have no idea what is going on in their own island, or the rest of the world.

20) That Cubans will flock to a Calle 13 concert, and avoid Silvio Rodriguez’s concert against the media war at the tribuna anti-imperialista.

21) That there is a much more varied music scene in Cuba than you might imagine after seeing Buena Vista Social Club, and that apart from Son, Salsa and Timba, there is hip hop, reggaeton, rock, electronica, and classical music.

22) Most Cubans move like Shakira, but some Cubans don’t dance at all.

23) That Cubans are black, white, and every shade in between, some have blonde hair, others dreds, and that anyone can look like a Cuban but few can actually move like a Cuban.

24) That having a scanner and color printer is very useful for falsifying tickets, IDS, and traveller’s cheque receipts.

25) That an event may or not start at its advertised time, or may not happen at all, and that there is usually no explanation. And that Cubans don’t seem to mind this much.

26) That Cubans don’t complain that much, but when they do complain, it is usually accompanied by large hand gestures and a verbal tirade that makes hip hop rapper Fifty Cent sound like an infant saying “dada.”

27) That when Cubans say “it is not possible,” keep asking because anything is possible.

28) That Cubans love Fidel.

29) That Cubans hate Fidel.

30) That there are way too many blogs about Cuba, and nobody really reads them.

Going through security at the Cancun airport, you find yourself in the middle of a shopping cornucopia of high-priced alcohol, perfume, and jewelry. In most airports, you have to choose to enter the shops, but in Cancun, there is no option, you must walk through the stores to get to your gate. Jimmy Buffet’s Air Margaritaville, the sourvenir shop selling artisanal goods by Mexican women dressed in folkloric garb, the pharmacy selling cheap prescription drugs, Starbucks and the food court all designed to keep you consuming was a shock coming from Cuba where the only advertisements are for the government, and where so little is available to buy. A big poster on the wall featured an image of two tourists shoving merchandise into their overstuffed bags, with the blaring slogan: “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough. Keep on Shopping.” This was the capitalist equivalent of the Cuban billboards denouncing the Imperialist Blocade.

I leave Cuba recognizing that the beautiful socialist dream has failed because the system has not provided enough food and opportunity to its people. I enter the capitalist world recognizing that the beautiful capitalist dream has failed because the system engorges people with too much choice, too much consumption, and not enough substance. Somewhere between Havana and Cancun, there must be a middle ground, and when I find it I’ll start another blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Malanga y Cultura

In my last post, I made the case that Cuba needs to focus on solving its food problem before worrying about art and culture. I changed my mind. A Spanish colleague of mine made the case that the Cuban government should stop subsidizing free concerts, cheap theater, movies and books, and focus on feeding its population. This makes sense on the face of it. It’s hard to appreciate a great concert or a brilliant play on an empty belly.

One materialistic argument for Cuba to continue subsidizing art is that art and culture have become a major source of hard currency earnings for the country. Beyond that there is a more intangible benefit to art and culture. Even though there is a shortage of food in Cuba, and people here are hungry, they have access to cultural activities to a much greater extent that most people in the US. Not only are the prices of cultural activities incredibly cheap, but the education system has prepared a populace that has a desire to go to the theater, discuss films, listen to music and watch dance. I wouldn’t want to romanticize this either. Most of the Cuban people consume popular culture like North Americans consume junk food and Coke. It’s sweet, addictive, and it gives you an energy boost.

However, if Cuba were to give up on the cultural aspect of the Revolution, it would become just another poor country with hungry people like so many others in the Caribbean. Sure, channeling some pesos from art to food would allow people to eat another egg every month, or maybe provide another kilo of subsidized rice, but people do not survive on food alone.

There needs to be a better balance between the material needs and the cultural needs of the Cuban people. As the food situation becomes more desperate I hope that the Cuban state doesn’t give up on its cultural project. Viva Cuba Libre: Malanga y Cultura!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Leche, Jugo and Planchao: Food and Freedom

A Cuban academic who studies marginality told me the other day quite bluntly, “either Cuba solves its food problem or it disappears from the map.” I was struck by the simplicity of the statement. My students and I spend most of our time analyzing music, theater, movies, literature, drums, dancing, gestures, and clothes, looking for clues about how Cubans understand their situation, about the degrees of liberty and freedom. We put the culture under a microscope, training our eyes to see veiled discourses of resistance, hidden transcripts, along with cataloging the numerous everyday definitions of revolution and revolutionary. We stay up until the wee hours of the morning in search of urban subcultures that are so underground they may not even exist, except in the minds of the urban ethnographers who dream about them. And this cultural analysis is rewarding, providing us with the challenge of coming up with sophisticated understandings of a very complex situation.

We may be missing the forest for the trees. Perhaps there is one primary problem, and the rest follow, or at least depend on the first one being solved: food. Right now there is a severe scarcity of rice, eggs, and milk. The answer for why these basic foods are so scarce is complex and different for each item. In February, Granma, the official communist party newspaper, had a small article buried in the middle of the paper about the rice harvest. While I usually never learn much from Granma, this article actually provided an explanation for the rice shortage. The annual consumption of rice in Cuba is about 800,000 tons, Granma reported. In 2003, Cuba produced almost all of this rice, and had to import about 70,000 tons to make up the difference. By 2008, Cuba was only producing 235,000 tons of rice, meaning that it had to import around 600,000 tons to meet the demand. Given the absence of hard currency, the government just doesn’t have the money to buy the rice. And the rice that is available in convertible currency is just too expensive for most Cubans to afford. So, one question is why did rice production fall by more than 60% in Cuba between 2003 and 2008.

When we first arrived on the island, the supermarkets had shelves filled with fruit juice and milk produced in Cuba. The same company that sold the juice and milk also sold small juice-box size containers of a popular and cheap rum drink called Planchao. A few weeks ago, the juice, the milk, and the Planchao disappeared from the supermarkets. I have heard two explanations for what happened. The first explanation, and the one that seems most plausible, is that the company that made the juice, milk and rum drink was a Spanish-Cuban joint venture. The Spanish company was in charge of producing the goods, and the Cubans were responsible for distribution. So, the company delivered the goods to the Cuban government which in turn sold them in convertible currency stores at relatively expensive prices (about 3 dollars for a liter of juice and milk) , but the government never paid the Spanish company. After a few months of this, the Spanish company got fed up and closed down the operation. The second explanation, which I appreciate for its sick sense of the Kafkaesque inefficiencies here, is that the company that produced the boxes for the juice, milk and rum, went out of business, and therefore, they can no longer sell the product because they have nothing in which to put the liquid. Whichever one of these explanations is true, or even if none of them is true, the reality is that now only powdered milk is available in the stores, and that fruit juice and Planchao are gone.

Let me be clear, the milk, juice and Planchao sold at convertible peso supermarkets were not sold to the poorest Cubans who could not have afforded them. Rice, however, is a staple of the Cuban diet, and the absence of rice is like a Mexican meal without corn. Freedom of expression and access to the Internet are clearly legitimate and important demands. Freeing political prisoners is also a legitimate demand. But before you can enjoy freedom, you need to eat, and Cuba seems dangerously close to not being able to feed its people.

UPDATE: The manager of the Rio Zaza fruit juice company was found dead in his Playa apartment a few days ago, apparently something to do with drugs. There was an official declaration about it in Granma. The Juice story continues to get more interesting.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Media Wars, Musical Protests and Martí’s Cuba Libre

The newspapers and TV news has been non-stop decrying the “media war” against Cuba that the Cuban government argues has been launched by the international press led by the imperialist yanquis. What they are referring to is the coverage of the Damas en Blanco who a few weeks ago were daily protesting in the streets of Havana, and who were surrounded by mobs of “citizens” who shouted at them “the streets are Fidel’s.” This “media war” also includes coverage of the death of the prisoner Orlando Zapata who died after a long hunger strike, and the on-going hunger strike of another dissident Guillermo Fariñas.

According to the Cuban official line, echoed on the TV, in Granma, and on stage by countless artists, musicians and intellectuals, such coverage is unfair and distorted because the same media ignores human rights abuses in other countries. This line of reasoning makes some sense, but it is a weak argument because they are not saying that the news being reported is untrue, just that it is out of proportion to the weight it should be given.

But then who decides what should be covered and what should not be covered. If one has freedom of expression, then all points of view have a right to be aired. The Cuban media can present its version of events to counteract the other stories. But the Cuban government seems disingenuous when it refuses to allow multiple and opposing viewpoints in its own media. In fact, the death of Zapata was only reported days after the fact, and only in response to international coverage of the event.

Yes, Cubans have sent hundreds of doctors to Haiti, and the world should recognize that. Yes, journalists are killed every year in Mexico and in Honduras, and that should receive more coverage. And yes, the US is one of the worst offenders of human rights on bases from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib. None of this seems to negate the stories that have appeared in the international press about hunger strikers in Cuba and peaceful protestors being mobbed in the streets of Havana.

In response to this “media war” the Cuban government orchestrated a major concert at the Tribuna Anti-Imperialista. The concert scheduled for 4 pm on Saturday included major musicians like Silvio Rodriguez and Pablo FG, and intellectuals like Nancy Morejón and Miguel Barnet. The TV publicized the concert non-stop for several days, urging everyone to go to the Tribuna to protest the media war. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, with so much publicity, and a free concert with the most popular Cuban bands, I expected to see a sea of people on the Malecon. Some of my students even arrived a few hours early to get a spot close to the stage.

When I arrived there at 4:30 there were barely three hundred people in the audience, barely ten deep. This scant crowd was a striking contrast to the 20,000 who showed up to see the Puerto Rican Reggaeton group Calle 13 just two weeks earlier. In that concert, there were people packed in all the way to the Hotel Nacional, with all of the side streets teeming with an excited crowd. Despite the incentive of seeing the most popular Cuban bands, including reggaeton and rock groups, the tribuna was barely half filled even by 7:30 pm for this political concert. Silvio came out and played guitar for one song, singing “Soy Cuba.” The TV news that evening reported thousands of Cubans who came out to the tribuna to protest the unjust attacks on Cuba.

Cuban filmmaker Fernando Pérez just released his new film about the life of young José Martí. The film entitled José Martí: Ojo del Canario is an intimate portrait of the young independence leader before he was a major political and literary figure. It shows Martí as a shy, effeminate young boy who learns about social injustice by seeing first-hand the barbarous illegal slave trade that his father, an officer in the Spanish military, was charged with preventing. The young Pepe slowly begins to develop character and speak out against social injustice, eventually publishing his Patria Libre newspaper after the Spanish government issued a declaration allowing free press. It was ironic to watch the Spanish colonial government decreeing free press in the 1860s in the Chaplin theater in Vedado. One of the most emotional scenes in the film occurs when Martí and his classmates discuss the meaning of democracy and liberty in their classroom. But, the one that left me with chills was when Martí was arrested for writing a letter that indicated his sympathies for the cause of Cuba Libre. In court, Martí begins to defend himself, and the judges tell him to be quiet that he doesn’t have the right to speak yet. Martí explodes saying that he has seen people living in poverty and misery, and he has never been given the right to speak freely. Martí is dragged out of the courtroom shouting “viva Cuba libre.” Indeed!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4: Passover in Havana

My daughter, Zulema, and I went to the Passover seder at the Sephardic synagogue in Vedado, called the Patronto. It was held in a large hall in the basement, decorated with Jewish stars and a Cuban flag. We sat at long tables and happened to be in front of a couple of young Cuban women who had been invited by their Israeli friend. They had no idea what was going on, and they lasted for fifteen minutes and then disappeared. The other people at our table were a couple from Los Angeles, who it turned out had brought the chocolate covered matzoh and horseradish from Trader Joes. The woman in the couple had left Cuba when she was very young, and hadn’t been back. The other couple we talked to were Argentine and Mexican, but now living in New York. It may have been a coincidence, but it seemed like more than half of the people at the seder were non-Cubans.

The Jewish community in Cuba is quite small, and getting smaller all the time as the older generation dies out and the younger generation emigrates. It is also relatively well-off given all of the donations they receive from well-meaning foreign Jews who come to Cuba. The seder was modest, and our table never received the full seder plate, but we made due with matzoh and harroset. Nonetheless, the mere fact that they had a data projector which showed a video made by kids recreating the story of the Jews in Egypt suggests that the synagogue has more resources than the universities where data projectors are impossible to come by.

The other sub-culture in Havana that I visited this week was Los Kent. This rock band was started in 1965, and has continued to play American and British rock classic covers throughout the revolution. They play every Sunday at the café cantante, literarily and metaphorically underground in the teatro nacional in the plaza de la revolución. These long-haired and bare chested sixty-year old Cuban rockers belt out their songs on the loudest sound system I have heard in years. The crowd is a bizarre mix of sixty year olds who shake like they are at a blues concert in Portland, and younger folks who weren’t even born when the Rolling Stones got started. The highlight of the evening, and one which they repeated twice for the benefits of video cameras recording this 45th anniversary of the band, was a rendition of the song “An American Band.” There was something charming and slightly creepy about this straggly haired sixty-year old Cuban singing, “We’re an American band. We’re coming to your town. We’re going to party down.” The politics of that song being played just beneath the plaza de la revolución with Che, Camilo and José Martí looking down was just too much to comprehend for me on that particular Sunday evening.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mar. 14- Zona Cuerpo in Vedado

I have been thinking a lot about bodies. Free bodies. Imprisoned bodies. Dead bodies. Dancing bodies.

Tonight at the Teatro Mella on Linea in Vedado, I saw a performance by Danza Combinatoria of the Rosario Cárdenas company. The performance entitled Zona-Cuerpo (Body Zone) featured six dancers (two men and four women) with painted bodies, live music and chanting, and spoken words. The bodies interacted with one another, at times in extremely erotic poses and other times fighting violently with one another. The erotic poses that combined every imaginable preference and position transported the audience to another space, apart from the everyday struggles of life in Havana.

At one point toward the end of the performance, one of the dancers could no longer sustain herself, and had to be supported by the others. She was a limp vessel, being twisted, held up, dragged, and carried. Finally, the whole group tried to support, push, and encourage the image of a man on a screen as he walked forward, but in the end the man stops, frozen in time, and he disintegrated into nothing. The dancers fell to the ground, low red lights washed the stage, and slowly they writhd to life shedding all of their clothes. They were left to confront the world as they came into it, completely naked, and also completely free.

The dance company held an open forum with the audience after the show. One person referred to the freedom that the dancers exhibited on stage, saying how he too would like to inhabit that world. There were a large number of psychologists in the audience who spoke about how people go around with a lot of repressed ideas and feelings, and that the dance served as a metaphor for free expression of these repressed ideas. One retired factory worker stated that he felt transported from the struggle of the crowded guagua (the bus) to another world. He didn’t understand what the dance was about, he said, but he was able to see another world was possible. In what other part of the world does a retired factory worker pay the equivalent of 20 US cents to see a postmodern dance performance, and then stay to engage in an open forum about its meaning? He and his wife will still have to board a crowded bus to return home, but the best of the revolution was somehow present there in Teatro Mella.

I was reminded of the Cuban filmmaker Fernando Pérez’s film “Life is to Whistle” in which a psychiatrist explains to his patient that Cubans need to say what they have been bottling up inside to free themselves. He runs around the street shouting “doble moral” (literally meaning double morals but referring to the act of saying one thing in public and doing the opposite), “sexo”, and “libertad.” As people hear these taboo words, they faint. The dance performance tonight was a public expression of that which goes hidden in plain sight, and remains repressed in everyday life. Numerous people in the audience said they envied the dancers, they wanted to be on stage, they wanted to be liberated. One of the young dancers took the microphone and told the audience that the performance means nothing if they go home, go to sleep and forget about it. They must be willing to change, to free what is being repressed, to dance, to move, to interact freely.

The images of the emaciated body of the dissident journalist Guillermo Fariñas, engaged right now in Santa Clara in a life threatening hunger strike for the release of 26 political prisoners, flashed into my head. Does one have to starve ones body to gain freedom? In the late nineteenth century, Cuba had the highest suicide rate in the world because so many Chinese contract workers, who were being treated like slaves on sugar plantations, chose to kill themselves rather than submit to continued bondage.

As I walked into the twilight falling on Linea, the P 1 guagua streaked by loaded with passengers squished against one another as if performing a postmodern dance, the boteros (collective taxis) belched thick black smoke as they roared down the road like motor boats on wheels, and I imagined a day when the Zona Cuerpo could be performed on Linea without professional dancers. That day all bodies will be free from Havana to Guantanamo, from Madrid to New York City.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mar. 8- Todo Incluido: “It’s Time to Change”

The tourist resorts in Cuba are a weird circus mirror reflection of socialism on the island. You arrive at one of these 1980s modernist Soviet-style cement-block complexes and receive your “todo incluido” bracelet that provides you with unlimited access to the bar and an excessive buffet with all the food that one could possibly eat. The rum is cheap, the drinks all taste like alcoholic Tang, and the food lacks subtlety, but the mountains of food in a land of scarcity is quite shocking. While I can imagine tourists complaining about the low quality of the food, they are missing the point.

What is not included in the “todo incluido” package is any contact with the real life scarcity that almost every Cuban has to confront on a daily basis. The lack of money, rice, eggs, cheese, toilet paper is all carefully cropped out of the frame that the tourist sees. This is of course no different in Mexico, Jamaica, Los Angeles or any other neocolonial economy where the tourist is kept at a safe distance from reality. It reminded me of the conversation I overheard on the airplane to Cancun where two guys talked about how they were afraid to leave their Sandals resort in Jamaica for fear of being mugged. What is different in Cuba is that it is supposed to be different here.

The problem with Cuban socialism is not the tourist resorts, but that only the tourists have access to the plenty that should be distributed to everyone. Inside the tourist resort I saw a cook throw away an egg she was frying because it didn’t form a perfect round shape. Outside, it is hard to even find eggs. Inside fat tourists pile their plates high with several different kinds of meat, cheese and fish. Outside, Cubans eat gooey peso pizza and sandwiches with a thin slice of mystery meat on it. Inside, there is access to the Internet and CNN. Outside, well, you get the idea.

As we travelled across the island through Camaguey, Santiago and Santa Clara, there was not even a whisper about the “dissident” who had died during a hunger strike a few days earlier, or the others who were arrested while trying to attend his funeral. For days there was no official mention of the death, but eventually the state media had to respond, and they did so by blaming the death on the “imperialists” the “mercenaries” and the foreign press. The few Cubans I talked to who knew anything about the hunger strike death echoed the state media explanation. Most Cubans, however, were too busy dealing with their everyday problems to notice. It was strange to read the international press on the few occasions I could and see how distant its concerns were to the vast majority of people on the island. The press both inside and outside of the island seemed to be describing a fantasy Caribbean island that only existed in their minds.

Another “dissident” in Santa Clara has vowed to continue his hunger strike until his death unless twenty-six political prisoners are released from jail. I didn’t know about this until I was back in Havana and was able to get access to the Internet. But while I walked through an alley behind the main square in Santa Clara I saw a graffiti that repeated the words that the Juanes sang when he performed at the Peace concert in Havana in the fall. It read: “It’s time to change.” Maybe Cubans should get bracelets too, allowing them unlimited access to food, drinks, and nice beaches. Until then “todo incluido” is a tourist fantasy sucking precious resources and mocking a