drink, eat and not work.
At least that's what a man named Idalberto tells Caribbean Net News. A surprisingly candid report was published on the web site of that "news" agency, which is usually very sympathetic to the castro regime often publishing official Cuban government statements literally word for word. Some excerpts:
Video footage released on Oct. 28 shocked Cubans with images of a gaunt and tired-looking Castro walking with difficulty. More Cubans now think their seemingly indestructible leader may have cancer, despite official denials.
A majority of Cubans - struggling to make ends meet since the collapse of the country's biggest benefactor, the Soviet Union - hope his designated successor Raul Castro will relax restrictions on small private businesses.
"People want to leave because you cannot do anything without state approval," said Alex, a food supply worker who declined to give his surname for fear of reprisal. "I cannot make my own money. The government is always on top of us."
He said theft from the state was widespread by employees seeking to supplement their meager wages.
"People are complaining more loudly in the lines. I think there will be chaos and infighting when Fidel is gone," said Perez, a communications technician who was fired in 2001 and has not been allowed to leave the island since July.
Cuba's cradle-to-grave safety net has its benefits, said Idalberto, a black market money changer who declined to give his full name as he swigged rum from a bottle with friends in a park.
"Socialism does not work, but I'm not going anywhere. This is the only country where you can drink, eat and not work."