During my trip to Cuba I learned a lot from the people about life here. Here are a few random facts.
- Government salaries are low. A doctor earns 50 CUC a month, someone with a good diploma 30-40 CUC and someone like a cleaner only 12 CUC a month.
- A casa particulares is on average 25 CUC per night and 5 CUC for breakfast. Cubans who rent their casa thus earn much more. But they do have to pay 100 CUC each month for their license, plus 10% tax of their earnings.
- Cars are very expensive. A 30-year old small Lada will still cost 10.000 CUC. One of those big American cars will be 90.000 CUC.
- The Cubans are not allowed to import motorized vehicles, but eletric scooters from Panama is no problem.
- Each household receive a coupon book in which they are entitled to a few rations of food each month. This is definitely not enough, but more food they have to buy at the supermarket at a much higher price.
- It is not allowed to kill a cow, you will be send to jail. Chicken and pork are for eating, a cow is for milk and yoghurt. If a farmer has a sick cow and wants to kill it, someone from the government first comes to check if the cow is really sick.
- They exchange educated people with goods from other countries. For example; good Cuban doctors will go to China and china builts the internet fiber distribution in Cuba.
- As expected, tourism is the #1 industry in Cuba, #2 is rum, #3 is tobacco.
- The coffee only gets exported to Japan, who sells it from there. They made this agreement between the two countries.
- In every street someone from the government is keeping an eye out for anything. The Cubans have to be careful what they say or do. On the plus side, the crime rate is very low.