sábado, dezembro 16, 2006

In the twilight of Castro's Cuba

A Economist teve há semanas uma excelente ideia - criou no seu site um diário para o seus correspondentes (ok, ok, podia ser um blogue...). Assim, todas as semanas, temos uma visão, ora british ora yankee, do que se passa em algumas das mais interessantes capitais do mundo.
Esta semana, coube a vez a Havana (a revista mantém um irritante hábito de não nos apresentar os seus jornalistas, mesmo quando se trata de diários... o que é um bocadinho absurdo).
É que podemos encontrar pérolas [estes apontamentos são das coisas mais interessantes sobre Cuba que já li] omo estas:

We've lost the ability to hitch-hike in America; driving around Cuba reminds me of how much we've lost. It's a wonderful thing to talk to strangers about their lives.

Paris and Havana have at least one thing in common. In both cities the places Ernest Hemingway used to frequent are mobbed by package tourists.

Hearing a song for the first time can be magical; the second time better still; a few more listens and it becomes a friend of sorts. But then it becomes the sort of friend you'd rather not see. It is still, at a certain level, fundamentally good, but it is also very annoying. Name anybody who doesn't feel that way about, say, “Hotel California”. Even some of the very best Cuban music has passed the point where you can hear it without wincing slightly.

And if the places in the world are few where one does not find a choice between Coke and Pepsi, that testifies not to the power of the Cuban system, but to the power of the American one.

Poverty has gone hand in hand with this isolation. But try to sort out how much of it has been due to the American embargo, and how much to Cuban policies, and you will quickly get lost. Unless, that is, you have embarked on the search with a well-drawn road map of ideological preconceptions.

There is plenty of hypocrisy, large and small, within the ruling class here. A Cuban might say the same thing in America or Britain. But, as with posters, it is the unfamiliar falsehood which catches your attention, rather than the falsehoods you have grown used to.

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