While we sensed that people were interested in more discretionary spending money, we sensed that people were completely happy with their interpersonal relationships and reasonably content with their job outlook and realization of their human potential. Even the poorest houses we visited had televisions, dependable electricity and running water... something that doesn't exist in Tanzania, for example. Rather
than comparing Cuba to the U.S., we think it should more accurately be compared to Jamaica, Mexico, Venezuela. Finally, remember that America uses more than twice the proportion of the world's energy & raw materials than it produces, which means that every part of the world is less materially comfortable than we are. For example, if the supply of fresh water was such that every man in China could have a glass of beer to drink every day, there would be no fresh water for any other use for anyone in the world. People in the U.S. benefit tremendously by keeping the rest of the world at a lower standard of living. For that reason,
it seems pretty antisocial to criticize other governments for not supplying their citizens with our level of material comfort.
Also, we came away with a strong sense that the U.S. is being hurt by the embargo as much if not more than Cubans. There is a tremendous amount of creative artistic production that we are shut off from. They don't have the option of shopping at Wall Mart!--MSSC Prof. Gwen Murdock
Updated: 2003-10-01 09:00:17
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