From Criterio magazine via Mirada Global:
Cuba has lived a long period of shortages and economic difficulties. First it was the blockade, which was tempered by the era of collaboration with the socialist world. Then came a special period after the fall of the socialist bloc, up until the alliance with Venezuela. At the present time, shortage and economic crisis is once more in view due to the world situation and the uncertain future of Hugo Chávez’s country.
For 52 years now Cubans have endured austerity stoically. The first generations did it out of idealism, for the revolution. Then came some measures to face the crisis. But time has worn out hope of improvement.
In Cuba there is no extreme poverty or much less destitution, as in other Latin American countries; the great Cuban achievement has been to provide access to basic goods to everyone. But the degree of hope for a better life was kept at such a low level that they constricted dreams and discouraged the efforts to improve growth. At the present time the model is in crisis and radical changes are being proposed in order to face the situation, which generates panic in a population that feels that the few sure things they have may be ending.
The impact is especially important in the new generations, who didn’t live the hardships of the past nor did they live the revolutionary experience as their own victory. All they know is the prolonged and growing shortage and the impact of consumerism exhibited by the tourists, the facilities that are built for them, how those who migrated and come back to visit have improved in life and the business opportunities and the good life that foreigners who decide to settle in the island can enjoy.