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Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez

Posted: July 17, 2009 03:23 PM

With Ordinary Cubans Sweltering In The Dark, Shouldn't The Government Follow Suit?


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A store on Neptune Street closed yesterday so they wouldn't have to turn on the air conditioner after exceeding the strict plan of kilowatts consumed. In a five-star hotel they tell the tourists they're repairing the air conditioner but in reality they turn it off so the meter won't run so fast. In both places the employees breathe the hot stuffy air while few customers venture into the large market to buy, or remain in the lobby of the luxurious accommodation.

Fans appear everywhere in a savings plan that is costing the country a figure the press doesn't publish. The housewives avoid submerging themselves in the sticky atmosphere of the convertible peso stores; those wanting to make a deposit escape after half an hour inside the windowless bank; coffee shops see their sales decline; private money changers are having a heyday because the state currency exchange offices (CADECAS) close midday; and in the movie theaters one doesn't know whether to scream at the monster who wants to devour the protagonist or at the unbearable heat.

Obviously these measures originated in some office air-conditioned by "up there"; they occurred to those who, at three in the afternoon, didn't have to wait for a document in a place where more than twenty people were crowded together, sweating. I would like to throw out a proposal to the architects of this program, that they extend the cuts to certain untouchable sites where the thermometer still shows less than 25 degrees Celsius. It would be good, for example, to ask the members of the National Assembly, who are meeting on August 1st, to travel to their meeting on public transport so as not to waste fuel on their chartered bus. They should, keeping with the electrical restrictions we all live with, deliberate by the light of candles, drink warm soft drinks at the break, and limit their session to only a couple of hours, to avoid the costs of using the microphones and the TV transmitters. The unanimous approval and frantic applause which characterizes all their actions don't require much meeting time, nor the enjoyment of relaxing air conditioning.
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Yoani's blog, Generation Y, can be read here in English Translation.

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