Propaganda

In Cuba, propaganda is every where. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me, as the Castro regime has to convince it’s people about the rightness and the justice of their cause. And, according to that exclamation on the wall in the photo above, some still believe that.

Here below, our three heroes of the “faith” (Che, Castro and… someone else) exhort us to “Study, Work, and Fight!” (I assume that’s what Fusil is intended to mean.

Here are our three heroes again! This was my favorite piece of propaganda ever: it claims, “I live in a free country!” How ironic, given that most of the people on the island consider themselves prisoners in their own country.

The currency is a form of propaganda, too, since this currency is used only for tourists, completely worthless in the rest of the world, and valued higher than the US dollar. Charming system.

The ever-present statue of a revolutionary hero. I believe this is Jose Martií, revolutionary poet, pointing the way for all good Cubans.

The interesting thing is that the students in the red shirts were a visiting delegation of students from Venezuela. We saw them in the airport on our way out, and their shirts read something like “Socialism or Death.” Take note, Venezuela, the kind of death that will occur if you DO follow Cuba’s socialist dictatorship example.

This structure stands in front of the US Interests office, another way for the government to assert their authority before their giant thorn-in-the-side neighbor to the north. Castro makes political speeches from this platform and covers up the view of the US office with a multitude of Cuban flags placed on those flag poles at the back.

“Everything for Revolution,” it says.

And the perennial bust of our man, Lenin. He pops up everywhere, from people’s front yards…

…to Lenin Park on the outskirts of Havana. The confusing thing is that cutout doesn’t look anything like his busts. And also? He’s giant.

Now playing:

Today! “A North American Crime.” 8 p.m.

Wonder what THAT’S about. I guess the leadership still feels the need to reinforce the fact that the US is the bad guy.

And, oh wait! There’s my buddy Lenin again. This time, in a grocery store parking lot. You  know, in case you forgot how he looked in the time it took you to drive to the store. Or maybe you just needed a dose of good, communist affirmation on your way in to spend money, which you are probably only spending because you aren’t a regular Cuban. To shop here, you probably have a connection to someone in government, a relative in the US, or some shady way of making money on the black market. Because, you know, all Cubans are equal, comrade.

Here’s to you and the failure of your utopia, Comrade Lenin!

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2 thoughts on “Propaganda

  1. “I guess the leadership still feels the need to reinforce the fact that the US is the bad guy.”

    Could be down to the 50 odd years of economic embargo the US continues to unilaterally enforced on the Cuban government and people alike which has directly and indirectly lead to the death of civilians, especially during the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The fact that basic medical supplies are part of the embargo, not exactly likely to affect only the higher echelons of the gov may explain some of the dislike of for North America.

    Just a thought.

    1. I don’t know. None of the Cubans I spent a lot of time with felt strongly about the embargo. I don’t think it affected their lives much. What they are afraid of is the end of the embargo, and all the changes it could mean for their country. Mostly what we talked about was their longing for freedom. They have to have an exit visa to leave their own country, and those are often denied, even when they have acceptance letters from the country they are emigrating to! They want freedom to own their own homes, their own cars, and to go out and start business that will support their families rather than depending on the ridiculous ration system. I guess I’m a secret free market proponent.

      As far as embargoes go, in my experiences authoritarian governments can always find a way to benefit from say, an infusion of medical supplies, that don’t reach the people. And if supplies are needed, where is Cuba’s big buddy friend Venezuela?

      I want the Cubans to be free to think on their own rather than having the government tell them what to think. Even if that means they still think the US is the “bad guy.”

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