Say Brother; A Look at Cuba; 826
It it's not like the United States the island of Cuba was discovered in 14
92 by Christopher Columbus Cuba along with its numerous adjacent islands is forty four thousand two hundred and eighteen square miles. And as of the 1970 census the population was eight million five hundred fifty three thousand three hundred ninety five. You are now seeing the capital of Cuba Havana. It is the largest and western most of the West Indies. She lives strategically at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico with the western section just 90 miles south of Key West Florida on the east the one which separates Cuba from Haiti the south coast is washed by the Caribbean Sea while the north coast by the Atlantic Ocean the Spanish conquest began by the early 16th century. This started a continuous immigration of whites to the island. The native airwork Indian could not withstand the misuse of slaves and soon died off being replaced by Africans who contributed greatly to the cultural evolution of Cuba.
That is a portion of the history of Cuba tonight. Say brother will take a look at Cuba over the past 50 years. In 1933 Cuba's President Carter was overthrown. And from then until 1959 fuel Geneseo Bautista's a former sergeant controlled the political scene in Cuba in 1952 and attorney Fidel Castro openly criticized his ruling dictatorship of Bautista in 1956 Castro his brother Raul and Ernesto Shiga guiltily following in the increasingly effective guerrilla campaign that toppled the Baathist regime on January 1st 1959 Fidel Castro supported by young professionals students urban workers and some farm workers was soon in control of the nation in the interests of some
Cuban former Cubans who are now living out of states who are now American citizens. They have interest in returning to Cuba for visits. Is that part of your negotiations the working out some sort of agreement where Castro will allow these residents to come to Cuba to visit. This is certainly one of the areas of our concern that in addition to or Aside from the reunification of families in a permanent way that we talked about a few minutes ago. It's obvious that there are many as you say the United States and also families here who have no plan to permanently migrate but would like to see their families again and at least through a visit. And we feel that this is an area which would be mutually beneficial for both countries and we hope very much that we can help to encourage arrangements whereby larger numbers of people can travel for that purpose. We understand it that even through these last several years there have been a few such visits permitted in both directions largely where there were strong humanitarian considerations like family illness and so on.
But we are hopeful that this will be expanded to a more regular kind of program on a much larger program of visits in both directions. Good evening and welcome to say brother. My name is Eduardo and I'm your host for this evening's program. Tonight's program is entitled look at Cuba. Last October I had the pleasure of visiting the island. Say brother was able to capture somewhat of the feeling of Cuba today on film together with film of dance music and discussion we will present a brief profile of Cuba. We also have several guests in the studio who will share with us their candid views and opinions on how they found Cuba when visiting there. And some former residents of Cuba will speak of Cuba's past present and future should be a very interesting program and we hope that you'll stay with us tonight. I have here two friends St. who is a designer here in Cambridge and is also a member of the Antonie myself brigade has been to Cuba recently and the recovery you my M.D. Dr. Gupta who works at
Cambridge City Hospital to Cubans who now reside in the United States and we're going to share some ideas and some opinions and have a very thorough going discussion hopefully of things that they saw and how they see things have changed in the world. First of all welcome. Thank you. I guess the first question that people are interested in in asking are would be is why did you go back and how was it to be able to go back to your to your island to your home in Harlem. Why. Why go back. I would say that most Cubans who haven't gone back have been wanting to go back for a long time. And it's a long process of getting to that point. But it's a matter of most of us both of us and other people who have gone back left when we were very young as children.
So it's the whole thing of going home to a place where you lived as a child. It's also going back to where we came from. You know it's very it's a country where we were born there is a culture we inherited that it's fine it was our country where we were born and it was our roots are there. And then also to find out what really wasn't kill. Yeah I think that sense of tremendous curiosity should be stressed besides that innate feeling that everyone has for learning about their past understanding better where they came from. Rounding out one's adolescence in a foreign country foreign from one was born. One has to add to that whole dimension the curiosity of growing up not growing up hearing very contradictory statements about your homeland.
In my case particularly my interest in medicine my commitment to medicine. I was used to hearing very divergent views and this kind of curiosity really helped me overcome my fear of crossing the barrier with the past and undertaking this trip. Tell us something about the Antonie my brigade so that folks can understand you know basically what Brigade does and so regalis an organization of young Cubans in this country and Puerto Rico and other places. We were all under 18 years old when our parents took us out and basically it was not our decision our personal decision to leave the country and we have all come to have a different view of Cuba how an open attitude toward Cuba. Wanting to know what's there.
And we've been wanting to travel to go. So this year over December and January a group of 55 of us made a visit to Cuba. And it was it was a very beautiful trip I guess I guess the next the next question I should ask is What did you see. What what did you see and compare that to basically what you were told existed. Mm hmm. In many areas of health or education or housing. What were the what were the things that most impressed you know what you saw. It's I think that it really broke a lot of mythologies that we had been spoon fed and basically had just growing accustomed to hearing the people are sad
dressed in drabs assertions of error no music a sense of alienation a sense of a country that has lost his heart and that really I was impressed by the quite the opposite. He was very lively it was a very growing country in terms of medical achievements. I was really impressed by what I saw particularly in the countryside the level of sophistication of the health planning in Cuba. Maybe Modi said you in areas of education and housing you in particularly interested in housing and I can talk about that and I would I agree with you that's the main thing. The overall impression though I would say that even the positive things we've heard about Cuba
be in in what you heard from people who have gone right. It is very different being there. I've seen them and meeting people and then feeling the spirit of people you know finding out what a very vigorous young country and area of housing. What what did you see as a major advancement that you witnessed that I witnessed. I would say that it's in the countryside the countryside of Cuba is very different from what I remember as a child even though I lived in Havana. I didn't know some parts of the countryside not much to visits and that was in the area of housing that was there was incredible poverty people living in boy you thatched roof houses naked children with bloated bellies no facilities no electricity no water and now there is you see it traveling around the country a lot of new houses in terms of statistics. The Cubans are now
building thirty thousand units a year. And they feel that they want to build a hundred thousand a year to really solve the housing crisis. There is a housing crisis in Cuba and it's one of the areas where a lot of effort is being put in. But that there are problems of it's overcrowding. But there's a lot of optimism about solving that problem. Let me ask you a question on that centers more in the area of health care. What would you say are the most dynamic changes that the health care system in Cuba has undergone since the revolution in 2009. I think the most dynamic changes in terms of structure in the health care system in Cuba was far more disorganized than anything we were accustomed to in this country where we don't have a central health plan a central governmental sense of health structuring the entire country has been broken up into regions as sectors
subsections and certain health facilities are built to account for a given area of the population. There is a real interest in picking up problems at the very incipient stage of sort of a preventive approach. It's a very real interest in an education at the very level off the block in the neighborhood block the the rule of a square mile where the neighbors themselves are associated in their own interest in carrying out health surveys and in encouraging others who are not seeking out appropriate health care into doing so. So the structuring is very logical. And Cuba given its governmental situation has been able to restructure the health care system from top to bottom. It was a drastic change in 1958 there was
seven. Seventy three hundred physicians in Cuba and between 50 and 61 3000 of those left almost totally half the entire number of doctors physicians. So at that point Cuba had to start and use whatever ingenuity and resources they could muster to create an entire health care delivery system. And it's been a long process and it's really fascinating the end result. Let's talk a little bit about the political structure of Cuba briefly. They recently enacted I guess what you might call sort of a legislative body called the pocket book. How do you see this as possibly different than what we have here in the United States. One way in which is different is the level of participation of people. I mean you said at the black level in this in the legislature and I'll I'll bring up an example of housing which surprised me because I wasn't
aware of that particular fact before for example. Has increased production of cement to a very high degree but cement can be used to build housing or it can also be used to export arms in order to get foreign currency that is needed for the country. And how much to use within the country to build the housing that was needed and how much to export for foreign currency is was a topic that was discussed by the organs of public power and by the what they call mass associations mass organized mass organizations the Federation of Cuban women the block associations all the way up and down and people gave their opinion as to an economic matter like that. And that was eventually taken up in the legislature and decided on Sophie and the voting percentages.
I don't know how much it is but it is very high and higher than that so that's something that's sort of countervailing or sort of contradict some of what we hear about what's happening in Cuba that for example Fidel Castro has sort of like an iron hand if you will over policy setting policy in directing economic growth and what have you. It's it's sort of interesting to hear that it's not exactly like that and yet the people that the people in fact do have a say on what happens in housing and other factors. My sense was there was a lot of participation on a lot of decisions like not a lot of discussion about those kinds of decisions. Mentioned to me earlier that some of this conception of where that in Cuba after the revolution the way was dancing anymore and the music in fact had sort of died down. What was your what what was your impressions. Did you have cultural attractions did you did you go to dances and we'll have parties. Well I'll tell you I my impression a few years ago was that that might be sort of true because I didn't hear an interview with
music. And then a few years ago some friends would come up with a record Listen to this. And so I knew there was something happening right. I didn't know what it was. I was surprised at the richness of that humble musical movement. There was a lot of different kinds of music being played and it's interesting. I the the world famous Tropicana nightclub that was a real attraction before the revolution in Cuba. I had always heard of it. As I say as a kid I was too young then to have visited the club is still open and I had the opportunity to visit there. And it's really interesting the way the club is still as lush as photographs have it in the past. And as people described it in the past it's and the show is really very it's it's straight out of well-choreographed you're actually Broadway production with dozens
of dancers and actors and musicians and very well put together a very pleasant atmosphere. And the catch is that rather than the tourists who would who would and the well-to-do Cubans and those that really had a scrape that would go to that show. Now it's on the a popular show that entrance to the show is based on how your production does go on a journey. If you if you're Excel your work you get tickets to the show for a sort of a prize. And everyone you saw that was the most you know the cane cutters in the working were working people. Yeah I was and I go to that. I was I also went to Topeka and when I was there in October and I was very impressed with the way the show was choreographed and the music and what have you and I asked somebody I said well has it always been like this. It was a Cuban.
And he said yeah don't think it's different now. We don't have prostitution and we don't have drugs which were two of some major factors that you know major things that were happening that took a kind of you know during the pre-revolutionary days I thought that was very interesting. The one thing I was the next thing I really wanted to ask you was how are you. How did you find the people that you know like you were saying a lot of your parents and other propaganda sort of had told you that hey you know people are hungry they're starving they're closer and shaps like you say there and drabs and what have you. And they're unhappy and healthy. How do you find the people how satisfied are they with we with what really the revolution has meant to the majority of folks. Well it's a very popular revolution. A lot of people support it. And a lot of people are just very satisfied and optimistic about the future you know what the biggest change I found from this country is kids youth
it just surprises you. There's this sense of purpose and the feeling that you know they know they have a job when they get to school. I mean that was my most powerful impression this is the orientation that they have the feeling of looking ahead and you find you know find some people that weren't entirely happy and they tell you you know I swear some of my work but most people that I talked to in the street and some of my relatives were very feel very positive and they have I have a sense of confidence in the future. I found a lot of a real sense of cooperation particularly I can focus what is closer to my experience and in universities and in medical school there I found medical students that would not study as an individual who is competing with another individual or for a seat in the medical school and for performance to get a seat in a in a
outstanding institution. Rather it was all in terms it was all structured around groups study groups and at the beginning of the semester the students would come together and assess individually in front of a group you know how they felt that that semester they could accomplish. I mean someone who might have a personal problem someone who might be thinking of getting pregnant someone who has to have an extra job or someone who really wants to work that semester and get an day throughout the year. The group monitors each other's performance they help each other the other end of the year as semester they sit around and compare what they set out to do and what they did and the person has accountability to the group. And this kind of process really pushes pushes individual to be most creative and to exert himself or herself to the most and creates a lot of at the same time that the individual excels the group as a whole excels and the
person it is really feels. I support that little point on that. That's very very important. Little kids that same point that I merely mention I found the little kids and they will tell you the most important thing is to get good grades but right up there with that is that the kid who excels in the class. His responsibility what is rewarded the most. What is encouraging most is him following up and giving help to the kid that is not doing so well. So that exercise is seen as something of taking care of your of your friends and little kids and they do this to each other. One last question and that concerns. Nice talking about kids. They're the future of Cuba. What do you think very briefly about what the future holds in store for Cuba. I think that it's it's a growing country it's very young it's this change.
We've talked about have taken place in 20 years where it's going and it seems to be I think it's heading towards a higher degree of literacy. I think it's heading towards a higher degree of cultural sophistication and cultural awareness. I think it's heading towards a higher degree of of a higher standard and hopefully I think it's heading towards a re-establishment of diplomatic relations with this country. I think that it's it's it's quite silly that this country has relations with you know huge power blocs like China India and the USSR and Cuba there is the economic blockade still goes on. I think that the Cubans certainly have feel friendship towards the United States and that that's something that hopefully will come off in the future. Listen there are times now for this particular segment.
We could have gone on and on to discuss cultural aspects and going into. We didn't even get to mental health and some of the changes that have been made in that particular area and and sports and what have you. I want to thank you both for coming on the program and sharing some of your observations and hopefully some of your hopes for what will be in the future. Thanks. Thank you. Well we're going to have some more comments on on Cuba some possibly some very different sorts of opinions and further discussions on paper this evening and we hope you'll stay tuned. We're also going to have some film that was shot in October. We hope you'll stay around OK OK OK I'll say to you. And then he said Yes you know it'll be OK.
I'm important part it. Well then why are we gonna get me down. I love that we are not thinking we got to did it for you would be that they perform the part for God. All right. Or the government can come up with the enemy.
I don't see what's going on. Well it was my idea to do. You see I will tell you about a gown. You know GLASSIE me or mediate where I say on our old we get up at all. I don't mind that I might ask me how. See the problem rank they tried that all. And the more they try to deny them the more they try to
put a diety thought out who are daddy and don't say. But the day. Did I say saltwater I saw it saying you only me and you you are eating. Allison Yeah you know I mean if and when you go boy I am. Welcome back to the second part of our discussion on Cuba today. We're going to talk to some folks who have left the island some right after the revolution 59 and some who recently returned immediately on my left as always who lived in Cuba for a period of 17 years after the revolution at 59 and who has been living in United States for only about a year and a half ago. But over that period of time and she before coming to the United States was tutoring in French and English next to her and she didn't mind.
Marcus Sterling who was chairman of the history department at the University of New Hampshire at Plymouth. And finally my third guest who was a professor at the Harvard Business School here in Cambridge. First of all I want to welcome all three of you to say brother I guess basically the first question I should ask is for you to tell me or ask or ask you rather. Why is it that you that you left Cuba what was it about Cuba's past. And and also what happened during the revolutionary process that made you leave Cuba and come to the States. Well I think those who left first to speak. OK. Because I think that that's an interesting point to address from my specific viewpoint as well as from a more general viewpoint. The interesting one interesting distinguishing factor in the Cuban immigration to the United States is that as opposed to departure for economic reasons as are so many of the people that have come to the United States whether it be the
Irish or many other people that have come in over over the centuries to the United States to seek economic opportunity whether they be from South America or from Europe the Cubans came here to seek liberty. We came here to seek freedom and that is certainly in that sense I'm no different from any of the other 600000 to 1 million. My best estimate is 800000 Cubans that left we came because we wanted to have the opportunity to speak our beliefs without worry of condemnation by the law. And that's I think primarily the reason why we're here. I might mention in passing that the Cuban exodus is the largest exodus from any one nation in the history of the Western Hemisphere. So that I'm not unique in any way. I agree with the idea. I would also add that it happened so many times in the past in Cuban history the history of Cuba and the history of United States are so intertwined and all throughout the 19th century whenever
there wasn't repression in the island of Cuba and also in the 20th century Cubans left to the United States knowing that they would find in the United States the their right and most fear again for hours and coverage meant. And then either officially aided or unofficially aided by United States citizens try to re-establish in their country a sphere of freedom and free determination. And I think that was specifically what were some of the changes that occurred either on the economic level or the political level or the cultural level or whatever level. What are some specific reasons why you well forced or why you came to do as you know they that evolution goes through two steps in the two processes the first Cuban revolution the one that overthrows. But these is a middle class revolution essentially. And right after that a year or or I'd say 15 months after that
it was evident that a new process was emerging to overthrow the middle class revolution. I consider myself a middle class man and I from my perspective the freedoms of the middle class were entirely the steroid or about to be destroyed a police state was emerging. That's what I found I found absolutely on the ingestible that the people have been saying that Cuban revolution was betrayed. From that point of view from the point of view of the middle class indeed it was betrayed because it was originally a middle class revolution. And I must say that not only from the viewpoint of the middle class but of all the Cuban population because we simply didn't leave. I didn't live in 1966 in the early 60s because I was curious and I was not afraid and I thought I wanted I wanted to help my country and I thought I was helping it stay there until I finally realized what it was all about.
Then I can tell you that the freedom not only of the middle class but of the working class has disappeared completely. Quick sample they say the government Cuban government says that it's doing that revolution in behalf in the name of the Cuban people but the Cuban people have never ever been so oppressed by the way of press. Well in the sense that all freedoms are obliterated have disappeared. You cannot speak your mind. You cannot write for a temple workers. Workers cannot protest. They can go on strike. They cannot do anything. They must remember us or kill us who are worse. For example principly which is Labor Day there before 59 there was a big parade and they asked for improvements on increases of salaries and everything and their workers went on strike. It was very difficult to fire a worker a person up to six months in a job. Now the worker simply has doesn't have anyone to turn to because the only employer is the government and the government has all the rights he cannot unionize.
The unions are also under the hand of the government. So the workers themselves have never been worse than in a revolution that is said to be done for them you know. That's very correct. I remember way back in 58 and 59 when Fidel was in the Sierra Maestra many workers in Cuba distrusted him. They didn't know if he was fascist because they thought that he was coming down to eliminate all the social gains made by the working classes in Cuba. It was unbelievable that we went to Cuba for him for example. Right now you can't tell that you can let it affect the countryside. You can't resign from any job. It's by law it's prohibited. Before you say it if the employer treated you well in a way that you didn't altogether like you sent in to go jump in the lake and you got an urge overnight with it because you were free. Now you countryside. Let me just lead the discussion. Possibly.
And in doing so will refer back to some comments that were made by some people from the Antonina over again. I also had the opportunity to speak with for the sake of the program. They made some references to some very positive things that had changed in the area specifically of health care education changes in cultural involvement of the people. Now granted there may be as you say political oppression. What have you curry but aren't these advances or somehow balance out in certain areas some of the limitations on freedom. We are they talking about because Cuba had before 59 had 69 hospitals and had this. I know he called them an English first aid centers in every neighborhood which employed over 13 hundred doctors to have a medicine degree at this degree.
It took his seven years as opposed to five years in other countries and Cuba Iran. And in the formation of talk to us Cuba around 30 I think behind Argentina. Why for example this people haven't done their homework that they stick around. You had a Latin America in my book you had a doctor for H 980 inhabitants. That was the second in the whole western hemisphere had the lowest mortality rate had the lowest infant mortality rates. The problem is that communists fiddled with statistics in a way that no one can verify. But when you have leap there like leap for example every year in the winter there are a number of the Cuban winter a number of viruses which are never declared for what they are. And the number of children die on and besides children with three counts of badly processed condensed milk per month. Do you know what it is to you. Well under 30 they get six guns a month. Adults get three can't but healthy you think they can have.
I'd like to come in here and refer to two specific examples of things that Anna you know lived up first hand and we see here more by reading and observing the newspapers she talked about the right of protest of the workers. My colleagues across the river I'm at the business school and some of my colleagues in political science departments to kind of track the Cuban situation very closely. And I thought it was remarkable. A couple of years ago that in a party newspaper a protester appeared by a worker who claimed that in his particular town there was only one brand of ice cream. Was vanilla and he wanted vanilla and chocolate and that was very significant because a protest against the ice queen had allowed. So that gives you an idea of the level of of the right to protest that workers have. Secondly the point that any made with respect to statistics I think is a very interesting one because you hear a lot about the fact that Cuba now stands you know very highly in the nations of the world and infant mortality.
Well fact of the matter is that that is the way that Cuba was inherited. OK so if we take a look if you are a Martian OK and you came to Cuba 20 years before Castro you would find an infant mortality rate of somewhere around 150 per thousand if you came the year that Castro came. You would find it approximately four and a half times down. OK. Roughly around 30. OK so in 20 years. Four times again. Now if you come back to Cuba 20 years later which would be today and you accept their figures which you know I'm a little loath to do because there's no documentation or word of mouth figures. You'd see another 20 percent improvement. So a factor of for over 20 years which nobody talks about. And now a 20 percent improvement which everyone talks about over a 20 year period assuming you believe there's a test. And I think that what's really relevant there is that in 1943 there was a census in Cuba which included data on race who had what position according to race included data on what females occupied what classifications of jobs there was another census and 53 there was full disclosure. In
1970 there was a census in Cuba which included this data. The data has never been released. So on what basis these claims are made only the people that are privy to that data are unknown. Social scientists don't have access to that made. It's very intriguing. Eduardo also that if you go back over Fidel speeches he's never claimed all these great achievements. He said it many times we will have to pay a price a generation or two to dismantle and Guyer capitalist way of life to get to this economy. So how can they say that the country is better than it was when the Moxey more leave is saying well we'll go through a period of of of. Yes in order to create the socialist country. So I think that a person that bears quoting there is in my opinion the leading Cuban writer you know in or out of Cuba has covered it and fun to. My last information had it lives lives in England. He's the author of the figures which is a difficult thing to say in Spanish.
And in his opinion the purpose of the revolution was initially to socialize Wolf. And yet I quote from him is that it has socialized misery. If you look at the total economic national product of Cuba it is more than the income of the 800000 Cubans that are here in the United States. The gross national product than 100000 is greater than that you know with the 20 years of opportunity to improve the situation that Fidel Castro has had and it always sort of hard to compare its economy to based on capitalism and economy is based certainly on the socialism and communism. OK. One item that was particularly interesting that we had a chance to look at when we were down there for me in October of last year that that came up constantly was the question of racism how racism has been felt in the Cubans eyes a death blow
since the revolution against blacks and Latinos. What has been your experience residing residing in Cuba through illusion. You know firsthand knowledge of it. Well for example you won't find a colored person as we sometimes call them in Cuba who doesn't consider him or herself discriminated. Is he to say that there was discrimination in Cuba before what discrimination is a mental phenomenon. Everything's in your mind I think here they have the perfect approach because I have an example of the post office post is that discrimination is a bad thing but that is not the approach that this authoritarian states have. They say that everything all jobs are accessible and available now to call people isn't it. So they were before and here. Two professors can tell you that we've had well but this was a caller person. He wasn't president.
And a negro on one for that matter the first Cuban criminologist a lawyer that told me he was black. And that one who died in Cuba. He didn't collaborate with the Communists but he asked begged to be allowed to stay there. What was the one who wrote it. Marina Oh my God he's alive I think. Well let me let me ask. Let me focus maybe it's a little bit and say that when I was there I was told that in the certain segments of how China for example meet and on I mean you are in that area. And also in certain sectors of that particular neighborhood and also in private sporting clubs and and private beaches that blacks were not permitted. Doesn't that strike you more not to be necessarily a mental thing but a very physical thing of saying Look blacks are not permitted in this particular area. I mean well you know the upper class as a general rule everywhere even in communities tend to separate themselves you know the races. But in that sense for example
the blacks had a number of clubs of their own group but then they had the neo nazis in the US. But that's fine. But let me ask this wasn't it. I mean you're saying that's separate but equal that's sort of that's sort of argue well but I but let me finish let me finish my question. Isn't it a fact that there now those private clubs and physical prohibitions against black people who go into certain areas to not exist. No there was no physical prohibition. The problem is that some people didn't want to mix with the blacks. And so it happens now. It's exactly the same thing because it's a very personal thing. But there was actually a provision on the degree of make sure of our people keeps you the answer. Human population is extremely me. Let me let me answer that from my own personal perspective Eduardo before 1958. Before the revolution Cuba had a president
of the Senate secretaries of of just days on education. Hundreds of senators and House members who were black. And by the fact of being in the Congress or being in the cabinet they were allowed to go into these highly closed clubs and so on. And myself when I went to the university there were only two private universities on the National University and there we were. And we went out to the movies and two dances. And as I say in the completely free complimentary free and the high school and university education and I was involved in the census of 1950 as a student I was assigned some papers to do and so on. And what I saying is true you find in the sense is the white population is 70 percent but that is misleading because you know in Latin America if you have a drop of blood of white you are white and in many cases you could
say there was a let's say I would say 60 percent real white. And then the rest would be mixed. So I don't see the I mean let me ask. That doesn't mean there was discrimination everywhere in the world there is this. Let's let's turn our attention to the race question of racial discrimination but now to the question of possibly some some sexual discrimination. What in your opinion have been the changes that have occurred with regard to the women women's position in Cuba. Well in first place women lost everything in the sense that the woman is sort of as we say the queen of the home she must prepare a meal for her family. She must provide for the clothes for everything and then she with the privations with the scarcities the disappearance of most foodstuffs and items of clothing and cleaning and everything. And the situation of the Cuban woman women is very difficult. They say
now that according to laws the man must wash the dishes when we come back. The same thing as the racial discrimination. How can they control whether a man does the dishes or not. Some do and some don't. No matter what the law says and the lobby for protecting the women but the real fact is that now particularly since the since the year 1975 the communist government raise the prices of whatever is available the low food clothes and started to sale a number of items which they called liberated at a very very high price but very common article said Quick sample bathing suits cosmetics which we didn't have before. A number of toilet accessories and things you see and then what happens that the salary of a man is not enough particularly with the salaries in Cuba. And then the woman must go to work not because the economy is so prosperous that it may need women to work but because the woman who is working is controlled the woman who has had
control of the whole population is controlled by the whole system. Nevertheless when the woman is at home she can complain every time she goes to a grocery store that there's nothing to cook that this and that but what she's work and she must immediately get involved with the organizations of the government and this and that. So the women really women have lost their comfort and reassurance. Let me let me turn the focus of the discussion perhaps on to international. Could I just make one brief comment on these two last discussions overnight. Very briefly I'd like to very quickly refer to my hypothetical Martian if he would have gone to Cuba in the early part of the century and come back. Now he would find that the percentage of blacks in the Senate the Congress and now comparing that to the central executive committee of the Communist Party is five to 10 percent in both cases over a half century. If you look at the number of women you'd find three to five percent in both cases.
So you'd find no differences. My colleague Domingo's from across the river would say that it would be impossible to detect from those statistics that a revolution had occurred any sort of bubbles. Let me ask of somebody that's possibly germane now given the fact that the Senate has ratified ratified I guess just because of the kind of my Canal Treaty. What effect do you think that. What effect do you think that has Visa V Panamanian Cuban relations which I understand are quite good. What do you think the net effect of that passage in the future. Well I think that you to return back the attention to Cuba on the relations with the United States. But I have an opinion. We the United States wants relations with Cuba. Has said that many times the overtures can come from here. But I suspect the one who doesn't want relations with the United States
at least open relations you know political cultural everything with the United States is vidoe Castro himself on for one reason Fidel Castro is a brilliant man and he knows the history of Cuba in and out and he looks back and he knows that if he puts down his guard just a little bit the the the United States influence economic political and cultural will suck in Cuba once more as it was before the revolution. He knows that. So what he aims to do is give me the dollars give me the basis but I want open the prisons. I want to liberate the political prisoners. I will control who come in and who will come in and come out. And so on. So what do you think what do you think US involvement will be in the future. In the case of Panama our hemispheric changes that might occur. What do you what do you see as Cuba's role in the future in this area. Well I I can't predict that but I I was going over that precisely this
morning in a class I jump out and drove down to ours to be on the program. It's very hard to tell everybody say you know you have the right wingers saying that now that is going to move on Panama and the left wingers say no that's what we have to do. Do a credit to our relations in South America. I don't really know. I think it's too early to determine. But there is one thing that I think is going to come in the next two or three years is the base at Guantanamo if we've made a treaty with Panama Canal to the Panamanians. The bases for renegotiation in 1919 1999. So I suppose that will be brought up again and maybe that's the. What do you see as a possibility. What are the possibilities you think of reestablishing relations between the United States and Kilbane favorable or unfavorable. What are your comments. Very briefly. Well the way I see it
is United States wants to re-establish relations. He is he wants economic relations but not anything else. So the movies on his back not the United States are in many ways I hope he makes that mistake. I think that what Manuel said is confirmed. I talked very recently to one of the top Communist leaders in Europe and he expressed the opinion that strategically it would be a very bad mistake for Fidel if he were Fidel so to speak. I won't mention his name because as we said in confidence to open relations because this would bring the overwhelming economic and cultural impact of the United States descending upon Cuba and I think he's the main obstacle. And I think one of the reasons that he himself would not be in favor of this is the political prisoners. Even by Fidel's own estimates the number of political prisoners in Cuba is the highest in any of the South American countries excepting alone. I
think we just buy one at a time. And obviously we didn't get a chance to cover all the areas that we would all like to talk about. First of all I want to thank you all for coming on the program and sharing some of the feelings some of your ideas on what's happening in Cuba what happens and what possibly will happen not only in the island but of course outside the set of folks in the states around the hemisphere. Well thank you very much for having the show. Thank you. Pleasure. OK. That's it for this element of this particular discussion. Thanks for being with us. Yes it
and Yes. Yes since 1959 and a sovereign independent nation under the leadership of Fidel Castro most of those who disagreed with the Cuban way
since despite disagreement from those who have left Cuba remains tremendously popular with the Cuban masses. Well there has been much open disagreement in this program articulated by the two groups. I'm sure it cannot be denied that among Castro's greatest success has been an increasing educational opportunities by dramatically reducing illiteracy. It's not just to us. It's
- Say Brother
- A Look at Cuba
- Episode Number
- Contributing Organization
- WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
- AAPB ID
- Program offers a contemporary profile of Cuba utilizing Say Brother interview footage shot during the production's 1977 visit to Cuba and two studio discussions (one which is "pro-Cuba" as it is, the other "anti-Castro"). Host Eduardo Diaz speaks with Mauricio Gaston (a designer in Cambridge and member of the Antonio Maceo Brigade) and Dr. Emilio Carrillo (who works at Cambridge City Hospital) about their positive experiences in Cuba (including their opinions on Cuban advancements in housing, healthcare, the political environment, and cultural expression) in discussion "one," and Ana Galbis (who recently moved to the United States from Cuba after living there for 17 years), Manuel Marquez-Sterling (Chairman of the History Department at the University of New Hampshire at Plymouth), and Modesto Maidique (a professor at the Harvard Business School, Harvard University) in discussion "two" (which looks at the changes in Cuba after the 1959 revolution, the sublimation of racism [rather than the eradication] and the lack of freedoms that prompted members participating in the discussion to leave). Segments filmed in Cuba feature Eduardo Diaz talking to Cubans living in Havana about their lives, as well as footage of Cuban dance and instrumental performances.
- Rights Note:It is the responsibility of a production to investigate and re-clear all rights before re-use in any project.,Rights:,Rights Credit:WGBH Educational Foundation,Rights Type:All,Rights Coverage:,Rights Holder:WGBH Educational Foundation
- Media type
- Moving Image
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: db0ff1d85065660dd958e5b7225199f10d819b93 (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Say Brother; A Look at Cuba; 826,” 1978-05-12, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 1, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-kw57d2qk1d.
- MLA: “Say Brother; A Look at Cuba; 826.” 1978-05-12. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 1, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-kw57d2qk1d>.
- APA: Say Brother; A Look at Cuba; 826. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-kw57d2qk1d