Poverty as a Goal / Fernando Dámaso

Reading a cable from the Prensa Latina agency, I am informed that 22% of a total of 44,500,000 Latinos who live in the United States live below the poverty line. Stated another way, 34,710,000 live above this level and 9,790,000 below. I don’t know specifically what that level is. It would be marvelous if in Latin America only 22% of its citizens lived below poverty levels. Another figure from Prensa Latina: in its entirety, in the country (the United States) the poverty level is 13.5%, which means that 86.5% live above this level. It is an enviable percentage, which I think few countries attain.

Analyzing these percentages and figures, I asked some known people who work in this sphere what was the indicator level of poverty in Cuba. All answered that it doesn’t exist and one added that it was because in Cuba there were no poor people. I remembered that neither were there any unemployed and that the country, at least in its official statistics, reported only 3.6% unemployment.

I worked out some figures and came to these results. If the average monthly salary doesn’t exceed 400 pesos in national currency, that which is equivalent to 16.66 convertible pesos, or stated another way, some 20 dollars (keeping in mind the 20% duty imposed on the dollar), the average annual salary is 240 dollars. I believe this average annual salary (I am not talking about annual minimum salary) is far below poverty level, not just of the United States, but of all the countries of Latin America.

You can assert, correctly, that the Cuban people live below the poverty line, with well-known exceptions, mitigated, in part, by remittances sent by family members from overseas, the deviation of resources, and illegal businesses. Perhaps someone — a stranger to reality, might point out free education and medical attention — certainly deficient enough — but one shouldn’t forget that these are paid for with that which is left over after paying workers, maintaining miserable salaries for more than fifty years.

In the new economic measures, in process of analysis and implementation, it has been left very clear that the taxation process to be applied has as its goal to not allow citizens to become wealthy. It would be necessary to ask if the level had already been set, starting at which one might consider a citizen rich. In this way we only grant another recognition to the current poverty, and prevents the legal creation of riches, the only way out of the current crisis.

December 23, 2010