Pressure on Cuba

Fidel will distribute one pressure cooker to each Cuban family.

He has been quoted saying that these pots: could help the country and suggesting to cook at different times: at four o’ clock at Pinar del Rio, 5 o’ clock in Santiago, 6 o’ clock at La Habana in order to save electrical energy.

This is not surprising, in a country where every citizen is entitled to a cake on the day of their anniversary, by the cartilla. But, with all the due respect, that is really too much.

As Patricia de Lille said (see 14 April 2004 note) enough is enough.

March 20



Eating by hands

In my neighbourhood, the majority of people still eat by hands.

I tried once near Reo to have rice sauce with my fingers, and the experience was not unpleasant.

Of course, the psychological burden of childhood’s first commandment: do not eat by your hands converted this incident in a cultural shock.

Eating by hands could look as an uneducated behaviour, but is not. You have to wash carefully your hands before and after the meal and there are some more rules of etiquette, especially if you are sharing the bowl with others (that is the natural African complement to this way of eating).

If you enjoyed the chopsticks Chinese way, now try your fingers, you’ll not regret.

March 16


At the corner, along a busy road, the pintades look at cars passing by trying to wiggle out from sellers’ hands.

It is one of the few signs of a ‘developing’ country in this town quite modern and sophisticated.

From my office’s window I see a bunch of new buildings and if in the evening you go listening jazz at Nandjelé the skyline has nothing to envy to New York’s one.

Markets are similar to other African towns, but I am not shopping there a lot, lately.

Now it starts raining, the sky is dark.

What can still change the world (I wonder)

I mean, which factors are still capable to have a real and overall impact in the world of globalisation, consumerism, TV superpower, enduring North-South disparity. Factors that one person may support, to the extent of his possibilities. Training, education. Of course. But this is a long-term and complex process, where an individual contribution risks to get lost. Media, perhaps. Support honest media could make a difference, wherever in the world. And it exists a very simple way of realising it, the subscription. In developing countries as well as in Europe a reliable newspaper represents a robust device to change the situation. Or at least to understand it.

Upside down world

Reality overcomes fiction, we know it.

But a plot based on the aggression by the ‘freedom fighters’ against the freshly unchained hostage and the ‘trustable ally’s secret service would have been declined by any sensitive producer.

Why that happened? The answer is simple. The war.

War main feature is to subvert the rules governing the relations among humans, starting from the oldest commandment: you shall not kill.

That’s why the people supposed to protect the weak from the violent shot on the hostage. It’s the war, baby.


It rains where it’s already wet!

I went to the office of an air company to ask information regarding a ticket to Europe.
They were kind and efficient.
I asked about possible discounts and they answered that special prices are available for diplomats and UN people.
An ill-proportioned salary and a combination of different privileges are not sufficient for them, they also pay less to travel.
The existence of those advantages, benefits and rewards tend to reproduce that world where someone is in and the others stay out.
It appeals to factors stronger than the financial ones, those of status, class, privilege.