MEAT IN CUBA

(Or:  “Meat in Cuba.  Not.)

Cuba:

old-man-winds

I’m not the sentimental type.   I don’t really cry when I read a touching book.   But decades ago when Ernest Hemingway was fast becoming one of my favorite authors,  I needed some summer reading and chose  The Old Man and the Sea.    And I cried then,  not for anything specific that happened in the book,  but for the unrelenting, helpless tragedy of the whole  human situation.

old-man-sea

I read it the next summer;   same reaction.  Next summer;  same reaction.   It became a tradition,  something to mark the coming of summer.    I began to struggle through the book in German – that distracted me –  but I still “feel” that same awful, helpless feeling when I think of The Old Man and the Sea.

That wasn’t my first emotional experience with Cuba.

It was 1962, and I came home from school to see my big strong Marine Corps veteran dad sitting in front of the TV with a white face.     It was the Cuban Missile Crisis.    My dad’s exact words were:  “This could be it.”

cuba

He feared nuclear weapons, which were about 90 miles away from our coastline.   I didn’t.  I mean I grew up with the threat of being instantly incinerated without notice — it was common knowledge —  but to my dad it was a new threat.

Neither of us could do anything about the current threat that Cuba was presenting to us.

Later, as a young adult, I saw the Godfather movies.    Got a good firsthand glimpse of how Cuba had been changed by the Socialist Revolution.      Our family’s country-of-origin was strongly affected by the Socialist Revolution of Russia.  My Grandma would never wear the color red.

I read about Saint Anthony Mary Claret,  a wonderful, hard-working sainted man who was sent from Spain to Cuba and fell in love with the new land  and the people.

cuba-sp-clarets-name

He suffered physically and emotionally there  as he  brought the Gospel to the people, climbing up and down the beautiful green mountains of Cuba on foot – so he’d be sure to reach all of the Cuban people he could find.

cuba-hills

Beautiful hot, humid, mosquito-infested,  disease ridden mountains.     But lives were changed for the better as the people learned of Christ’s love.  Villages became workable and more prosperous.  Both crime and despair lessened.

cuba-mountains

I admire this man very much.  I admire his faith in the goodness of God and His power to change lives.   I admire his faithful persistence on behalf of the Cuban people and his love for them.     He was actually made the Bishop of Cuba and his memory is honored . . .   was honored.

More Cuba:   After I had children of my own and they had grown up safely  (whew!),  I watched as people fled from Communist Cuba.

cuba-fleeing-wave

 

Conditions were so bad that they tried anything and everything to get away.   Tires, tied together,  attached to sheets of plywood or canvas — and off they’d go into the ocean, towards America.

cuba-fleeing

They would drown,  often in sight of Castro’s gunboats –  who were ordered to NOT save them as they went under the waves.   Thousands of people died.

And then Elian  Gonzales fled into the ocean, with his family.   He was the only survivor.  He was picked up near our coast floating on some tires and was happily received by his own relatives here, who began to get him set up with his own room, new clothes,  good food,  a school . . .    They rejoiced at having him here with them.

And then the socialists  who had infiltrated some high offices in our government —  global socialists  ….

CUBAN BOY SEQUENCE

…. kidnapped him — our own government kidnapped him out of his own  new home.

And they sent him back to Cuba,  where after a short time he was taken from his  “biological father”  and placed into the group dormitories the socialists built for little children  where he went to school for a few hours and then picked sugar cane or tobacco for the rest of the day — to enrich  that socialist government under the dictatorship of Fidel Castro.

That was a pretty emotional experience with Cuba for me.

Fidel Castro.    A man of the people  luxury and privilege.     Lived in a $900,000,000   compound with more luxuries than I even knew existed and  had many other estates.   “One of his estates came replete with a rooftop bowling alley and indoor basketball court, as well as a coastal villa next to a private marina with pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna.”

Here’s another quotation from a book by his former bodyguard,    Juan Reinaldo Sanchez,          “With its orange, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and banana trees, the estate resembled a veritable garden of Eden…”

Two wives,  several mistresses,  hundreds of “lovers” flown in,  and at least nine sons….

Oh, wait.

This is supposed to be about  MEAT IN CUBA.

The government owns it all.  The socialist government own the pastures, the herds, each dairy and beef cow,  and all the meat.     You line up at government offices,  prove who you are and how many people eat in your household,  and then you get  ration  vouchers    . . .   you do this  once every fifteen days!    And you don’t always get a meat ration.

You can have some milk twice a month — if you are pregnant, or if you are under seven years old.

Before socialism,  there were more cattle than people in Cuba.  The island people were prosperous,  hard-working,  and they fed themselves and exported food to others.    Now, another quote:  “Beef is elusive.”       ” All cows are property of the government and anyone caught cooking beef have been known to commit suicide rather than face incarceration. Some farmers would fake a death of a cow just so they could eat them legally. “

Meat in Cuba?

Ask Fidel.

Ask the hundreds,  thousands,  of United States journalists,  movie actors,   and college professors, who praise Fidel,    all  (nearly all)  of whom are radical,  leftist, socialists.

Ask Elian Gonzales how he’s eating today.

Pray for Cuba.

cuba-clarets-suffering-words

 

 

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