Cubans Living on $20 a Month: An Unsubstantiated Rumor
February 28, 2012
Yanelys Nuñez Leyva
HAVANA TIMES, Feb 28 — Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's National
Assembly of Popular Power, in a televised excerpt from the recent
National Party Conference gave us new data on the need for greater
freedom of information.
To substantiate his claims, he used an example very close to the daily
problems of Cubans: their monthly income.
In his view, the idea that the average Cuban survives on 20 CUCs (a
little more than $20 USD) a month is too broad. He says that some
people, including international journalists — evidently
counter-revolutionaries — repeat this false situation over and over again.
As proof of that mistake, according to Alarcon, one can find the true
real statistics on the national economy on a CIA website, of all places.
As the point of his discussion was the urgent need for information by
people, the issue of the average wage was left to the side.
Still, it would have been interesting to see how his comments on that
point would have ended, because most people I know work for less than 20
CUCs a month.
The "average" Cuban engages in all kinds of surreptitious maneuvers to
survive over those 30 days.
The unlicensed sale of candy, juice, clothing, bags, shoes, or anything
else, is one of the extra actions that many people involve themselves
in, not to mention those who risk committing unlawful acts within their
Ricardo Alarcon — the man who once had the audacity to say that if
everyone had the right to travel abroad, the skies would be threatened
by over congestion — returns to delight us with his wise and stunning
judgments about life in our country.
In his opinion, the figure 20 CUC is in itself laughable, it's no more
than pure rumor based on disinformation campaigns sponsored by the enemy.
People do need access to information – this is a fact.
But they also need a major change in their way of life.