Thursday, June 02, 2005


I was visiting Babalu Blog and came across this story about power shortages in Cuba.

There are major power problems and electricity is shut down for the greater part of most days and no power means that pump stations are idle, thus no water service is available basically anywhere.

Cubans use buckets to procur the water they need. A truck with a tank of water comes by their neighborhood and Cubans line up with their buckets and containers to get their supply of water. There is a quota, of course. Water, like anything and everything else in Cuba, is rationed.
What a far cry from America where even the poorest usually have running water themselves or at minimum acess to it.
Apart from all the uses of water I mentioned above, there is one more very important need for water: The flushing of toilets.

If you only have a few gallons of water per day you need to prioritize your use of it and flushing the toilet is way down on the totem pole. So what kind of measures do Cubans take? Well, some only have the luxury of flushing their toilets once a day, at the end of the day, after all the family members have had their use of the facilities. It's difficult to picture that isnt it? Having to sit down on the toilet to defacate atop the excrement of your family members. Mom's, dad's, abuelita's, your sister's, brother's shit all piled up in the toilet bowl like that for the entire day. It's pretty disgusting.
Not only is it disgusting it is depressing. This happened to me once when I got behind in my water bill. But it was not so hard for us. We had laundromats for the clothes and our kind neighbor Mike (thanks again!) let us use his garden hose when we needed it to fill a bucket to flush. The only real major annoyance was bathing with cold water. At least it was summertime. America is truly a flush country. A several times daily miracle we take for granted. Well what do they do in Cuba?
"Some people just cant stand it," my neighbors uncle told me and I have no doubt that they could.

So some Cubans have taken a different approach to this problem. In order to conserve their precious allotment of water, and to not have to deal with the humiliating and disgusting, not to mention incredibly unsanitary, need to defecate on each other's excrement they have resolved a new plan.

Some families, especially those that live in the upper floors of apartment buildings with no access to private areas on the ground, now simply defecate into plastic bags, seal them up with a knot and toss them out of their apartment windows onto the street. Yes, that's right. They shit into bags and toss them out onto their streets.

So, not only is there no running water and no viable way of cleaning the streets, but now some streets are littered with little feces filled plastic bags.
So that is Cuba today. High literacy, free medical care, rationed food, rationed water, rationed electricity, and streets full of crap. Truly a workers paradise.

There was a time when the Cuban economy was the best in Latin America. Now it is the worst. Way to go Fidel.

1 comment:

FriendlyGuy1212 said...

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Come and check it out if you get time :-)