14ymedio, 12 January 2017 – Cuba’s master of humor, Panfilo, hit the nail on the head on Monday when he complained about the animosity many compatriots display on seeing the prosperity of others. “If we could export envy from this country, the gross national product would be through the roof,” said the sympathetic old man, obsessed with his ration book. His joke shed light on a painful reality.
“If my prosperity bothers you, do as I do: Work,” wrote an entrepreneur known as El Pata, from the village of Alquízar, on the wall of the blacksmith’s workshop where he produces grills and other accessories. The man posted the phrase to exorcise the outrage of many neighbors who look with evil eyes on the growth of his small business and his economic independence from the state.
The day he painted the incantation against envy, El Pata had been visited by two inspectors, responding to the surveillance of the president of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, and received a police warning while hauling a few pieces of metal for his workshop. Although he does not expect his maxim to protect him from such ills, at least he is relieved whenever he reflects on how difficult it is to thrive in Cuba.