Imagine having to depend on the American government for all of your basic needs, receiving only $20 a month as a salaried government worker. Yet the money you receive from the government cannot be used to buy many of the goods and services you need. First you must exchange those 20 meager dollars for a different currency, let’s call it the e-dollar, worth 25 times a regular dollar. The money you earn working for the government is not even accepted at the government-run stores that sell packaged food, electronics and other consumer goods. The gross economic injustice that you face is aggravated by your lack of basic civil rights and the constant threat of government surveillance, beatings, imprisonment, and even exile should you even contemplate demanding better conditions for yourself and your community.
This is a daily reality for the millions of Cubans who live under the Communist regime established by Fidel Castro and perpetuated by his brother Raul Castro. Yet Cuba has many brave souls who fight for economic and political justice daily despite the dangers to themselves and their families. Last week, I was fortunate to meet and spend time with two women from FLAMUR (Federación Latinoamericana de Mujeres Rurales), a Cuban organization of about 1,000 women across the island committed to bettering the lives of women by empowering them to become agents of change (www.flamurcuba.org). READ MORE