Cuban Mail-Woman Takes Her Protest to the World
A Cuban postal worker has gone public with a grievance that her monthly salary is being retained. As a mail-woman Rosario Morales la Rosa earns the equivalent of US $11 per month. She alleges to have attempted in vain to get answers from the Cuban Postal Administration, the Minister of Communications and the Cuban Communist Party but has received 'unconvincing' answers and warned by 'the firm' that represents her to seek employment elsewhere if she doesn't agree. She claims 32 other postal workers are facing the same problem.
Asked by Miscelaneas de Cuba what reasons there might be for the retention Ms. Morales is unsure but adds that she has been meeting with groups that discuss human rights.
She has been asked to return the bycicle she uses to deliver mail but refuses to do so until she is paid for services rendered.
Rosario Morales la Rosa
Cuban Mail Delivery Protester
Cuba of course has been a one party, one employer system since Castro imposed a dictatorship over 50 years ago. In addition, executive, legislative and judicial powers are not independent or mutually controlled by checks and balances.
Ms. Morales' interview did not go into other possibly relevant details such as the size of her family and their dependency on her salary, her housing situation, etc. Are her living quarters fully subsidized and has her family been threatened with eviction? What are their food rations, how much do they cost her and has she been threatened with losing them? Has she faced acts of repudiation or other threats or is she afraid she might? Has she attempted to access the regime's health care system? Have her children been harrassed at school and how much does she pay for education? What's the quality in her estimation?
Has she attempted to express her grievance through the regime's media monopoly?
Has she tried or does she intend to apply for another job? Could she realistically sue the one party regime for the retained wages and what does she believe might be the costs and risks?
Her responses to questions such as these would provide US and first world readers with data to assess her situation more fully and objectively and to compare it with postal workers and others in their countries.
Given her dismal wages , Mrs. Morales is effectively a captive in her own homeland for even if the regime were ever to permit her, she would find it impossible to travel outside of Cuba without a sponsor.
Mrs. Morales may not understand that there are many in Argentina, the US and elsewhere who argue that Castro's dictatorship, despite its abuses, is reasonably just or even something just short of paradise.
Accordingly, it's critical that victims reporting human rights abuses in Cuba try to give a full and accurate accounting of what the regime in their experience gives them versus what it takes away; and if they would rather have it the other way with all it entails.
Notwithstanding, for example, Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner's gravely offensive and unethical defense of Castro's rights as a dictator, she evidently still prefers something that is more like 'that', or one wouldn't be reading this in Argentina. However, read the updates below.
UPDATED ON JULY 1, 2009However, Cubanos vs. Muchos, (in Spanish) posted on June 18, has been blocked, apparently permanently, within Argentina by Google's search engine for blog posts.
In addition, on June 19 Argentina extended my permit to reside here for only one more month, that is, until after parlamientary elections. Previously, they had been renewing it for 3 month periods.
UPDATE JULY 21 FROM ARGENTINAArgentina extended my residency permit today.
Photo of Mrs. Morales from Miscelaneas de Cuba/CIHPRESS.
Argentinean bird photos © 2009 Enrique I. Alonso