“…but, They Have Free Health Care and Education…”

7 Responses to ““…but, They Have Free Health Care and Education…””


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  1. Juan R. Pollo says:

    There are some inaccuracies. For example, there are ATM’s in Cuba and bank issue debit cards that can be used in Point of Sale registers. I know because I have sent money to relatives directly into their account, and they tell me they get a discount by using the debit cards at the divisa (hard currency) stores. You don’t have to use Cuban pesos only, you just get paid in Cuban pesos. How you’re supposed to get divisas (CUC’s) to use at the divisa store is up to you. By the way, although the official exchange rate is 1:1 with the US dollar, there is a 10% tax on the exchange, effectively making the exchange rate .90 CUC per US dollar. This 10% tax helps to maintain the government in place. There are computers, but no internet to the general public. There are VCRs, DVDs, iPods, iPhones and many other modern articles, but priced prohibitively high in a country where the average salary is $25/month.

  2. Carrie says:

    Juan, you make great clarifications.
    Indeed, the info didn’t include the things the cubanos do to “resolver.”…and some of the newer things allowed.
    My own family used to pay someone to use an illegal yahoo chat/video call hook-up to connect with relatives in the U.S.


    Thanks you for the comment!

  3. Itzel Yagual says:

    Great Post! I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in Cuba and under Castro’s regime. I’m sure that it is a beautiful place yet is sad that Cubans do not have the many freedoms some of us take for granted. I too hope change will occur in 2012.
    Itzel Yagual´s last essay ..Artists’ Images That Work Effectively With Status, Genre, Brand Or Message

  4. It’s hard for someone born in a free country to imagine what it would be like to be so repressed. Its depressing. At least they live in a beautiful part of the world – not in ice and snow like Russia.

  5. Kiki Bacaro says:

    Was in church the other day and my hubby commented on living in Cuba and having to have ration cards and having to “resolver” when you used up your rations and at least three people (all Americanos) piped up, “oh well, we’ve had to use ration cards in this country too, it’s not just Cuba…during the war…blah, blah, blah…” It sounded like they were trying to make Cuba’s situation not look so bad (maybe influenced by comments I’ve heard them say before about Cuba/ Cubans)…I didn’t say a word but sat there thinking, um, “NOT for the last 50 YEARS!!!???” grrrr…thanks for this post Carrie

  6. Nareen Rivas says:

    Carrie, I came across your blog by accident (as most good things happen : ) and had to read it because as an American Cuban girl myself I had to know how a fellow Cubana ended up in Nashville. Your blog is wonderful. It had me cracking up over the Cuban phrases. One of my personal favorites, “Anota flora” It’s refreshing to see that not all Cubans live in Miami or New York.
    Nareen Rivas´s last essay ..Barking up the right tree…

    • Carrie says:

      Nareen, nice to meet you.
      We cubans are like las cucarachas: Everywhere!

      I briefly thought I was the only one here, but quickly learned there is a small community of cubans here — and since the 1940s and ’50s! Imagine that!

      I skipped through your blog quickly! Que nice!

      I look forward to getting to know you…and if you want mas cuban/latin love, head over the the Tiki Tiki Blog and the Facebook page. Daily pachanga!


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