Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beggars in Cuba

Beggars in Cuba
March 21, 2012
By Warhol P

HAVANA TIMES, March 21 — Lately, whenever the national news program
comes on TV, I usually turn up the volume to listen to it while doing
some chore around the house.

In this way I don't waste my time sitting around watching all the
rhetoric on the news, which is usually focused on how well the farming
season is progressing, or that there has been a growth in pork
production, or something about the tireless struggle for the liberation
of our five heroes imprisoned in the empire.

A couple of days ago I heard a story in which they criticized the United
States for having so many homeless people on the streets.

That was something that made me laugh, but at the same time I felt a
certain unease. In my view, the author of the story must live in another
world, or they drive to work every day, or this person hasn't walked the
streets of Havana for quite a long time.

The truth is that there's no need to go to the heart of Havana to find
homelessness or even people who are mentally unbalanced.

In many of our municipalities, one can find people of all ages begging
in the streets or sitting on benches or sidewalks in hopes of receiving
charity in any currency.

I suggest that before conducting this kind of reporting, journalists
should walk the streets here and not throw stones at the neighbor, which
as everyone knows is much larger than us with respect to size and

In our news, I always hear that all evil comes from the north, making me
think that every year many people there starve to death or are unemployed.

These broadcasts give the impression that American children don't enjoy
any privileges or protection, and that the worst types of violence are
engendered in that monster.

Many Cuban politicians (and non-politicians) talk about this, but few
people have witnessed it directly since many of us don't have the chance
to ever set foot in that land.

Nor do we have access to the Internet, where any individual may seek out
information and probe more deeply into any issue.

In that way we would be freer, since we could personally seek out what
we'd like to know more about and not be dependent on what they want to
spoon out to us on the daily newscast, which in its half-hour broadcast
is neither very comprehensive nor very informative.

I think that we Cubans here should try to solve our own problems and not
make comparisons.

I imagine that in every country in the world there are people living in
the streets.

In most places, all you have to do is find a way to get involved and
somehow help. But that's in the hands of the government here, which
supposedly has the funding to help the indigent.

I would like to know if any of the authorities in my country ever walk.

If they did, they'd quickly realize how ordinary people get around and
how we're being led in this revolution, which I certainly don't find

All the garbage in the streets, the beggars and the decay give me a bad
impression about where we're going to wind up
And to corroborate this situation I've included these photos, which were
taken in just one morning here in my beloved Havana.

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