Preparing for Cuba’s Nouveux Riche
November 8, 2013 | Print |
HAVANA TIMES — Now that Cuba has decided to definitively (though slyly)
change its social model and the structure and foundations of its
economy, I am positive we will soon see the novel figure of the Cuban
entrepreneur blossom across the island.
These businesspeople will, as we can easily predict, come from the ranks
of today’s political hierarchies, given their proximity to those in
power and the corporate parameters that they will gradually develop over
Thus it would be good idea to begin to reflect on the characteristics of
this new type of rich person soon to be among us, whose precursors can
be found in the Soviet Union’s metamorphosis into the Russian Federation
and in the transition processes that took place in Eastern Europe,
Vietnam and, paradigmatically, in the vast, millenarian China.
The new entrepreneurs that emerge in post-communist societies are
characterized by a series of common features. These entrepreneurs:
– Are more fond of merciless competition than those educated in market
economies, though they may be less prepared to actually take on such
– Are unbelieving types who have renounced all ideologies, religions or
philosophies that proclaim modes of conduct based on moral principles.
– Are atheists and agnostics who suspect even their own indoctrination.
– Feel that, since they have paid for their food, they must eat until
they are about to burst.
At one point in their lives, entrepreneurs trained in market societies
may experience a longing for something spiritual in their lives. They
may go as far as rethinking what they have done at different points, in
those moments of reflection that characterize the life of a human being.
The new entrepreneurs, educated under the obliged slogans of social
equality, on the contrary, tend to reflect upon and review their actions
in the opposite direction, reproach themselves for futile expenditures
of energy and conclude that it is time to use them for their own
benefit, that they ought not waste another minute considering the old,
deceitful slogans or sterile utopias.
These businesspeople consider the everyday hypocrisy of the traditional
rich, deployed to balance out their guilt, a simple waste of time.
They do not ask for permission or forgiveness, nor do they show
gratitude. They simply pay.
For this new class, boasting of one’s wealth is a healthy sign of good
taste. They do not understand philanthropy or the patronage of the arts.
They detest art but spend large sums of money on products that can be
resold at a higher price.
They are direct, sincere, uncomplicated, rough and devoid of any depth.
They make the manufacturers of all distinctive items of bad taste that
characterizes the nouveux riches’ wealth.
Their clothes show an astonishing lack of taste and, sitting in their
urban yachts, made and painted exclusively for them, they are simply
incapable of understanding why other wealthy people could consider a
Rolls Royce or a bluish-gray Bentley signs of distinction.
Source: “Preparing for Cuba’s Nouveux Riche – Havana Times.org” –