Artorius Castus

Victoria’s Secret Arrives in Havana

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on September 13, 2007

Our house in Havana was on 1st Avenue at the corner of 30th Street. It was in the suburb of Havana called Miramar. The house was 110 yards from the Gulf of Mexico – I measured it. We were the only Americans in the neighborhood; all of our neighbors were Cuban. These folks for the most part were very friendly, but very poor. A half century of Castro’s communism has reduced these once-proud people to a nation of beggars. I can’t tell you how many times I was stopped in the street and have my neighbors plead for me to get them some aspirins or vitamins – and this in the grand country of Free Health Care. I used to order cases of Gatorade from a supply warehouse in Maryland and it came in to Havana via an exporter in Miami. Being a daily runner, I needed a lot of Gatorade. I’m also a recycling fool. I recycle even the packets of sugar and Splenda.

In our neighborhood there was a young man who came around every Friday evening to collect my recyclables. I gave him all my empty Gatorade bottles. Then I would see the neighborhood women walking down the street with my old Gatorade bottles filled with their rationed milk. Kids over the age of seven didn’t get milk. The young man sold the bottles. Great capitalist. We also gave him all of our old Times and Newsweeks (before I found out how much tripe there was contained); I cut off the address blocs so the goons couldn’t accuse us of spreading anti-Cuban literature. My daughter was living with us there, and she was working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service Office in Havana. Being a young woman, she received the Victoria’s Secret catalogues several times a week. I cut all the address blocks off of those as well. On Friday evening, Julio came by and I gave him piles of magazines and bottles/cans.

One Friday evening there were two Havana cops standing across the street from our house. ((I should point out here that Julio was not shy about voicing his displeasure with the current regime, but he was never arrested.)) As I walked up the stairs into my kitchen I heard some talking behind me. I turned around to find the two cops talking with Julio. I walked back down to the gate and asked Julio if everything was cool. He said there was no trouble and continued talking to the cops. I went back in the house.

The following Friday Julio came by and rang the bell. I took the stuff down to the gate and asked Julio what happened last week. It turned out that the cops traded their uniform shirts for the pile of Victoria’s Secret catalogues.

Directly across the street from our house, living in a once-elegant seaside manor, was the local Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR); this house once was the weekend home of some rich Habanero – today it is a multi-family tenement.. It was their job to keep track on all the neighbors, to make sure that they weren’t engaged in counter-revolutionary activity. In another time and place, they’d have been called “gauleiters.” Our guy was named “Cuqui.” He is a weasel. I was standing on the street one evening, talking with my gardener and Cuqui approached us. He is the dedicated communist, and he told me that the only clothes he had were the ones he was wearing, and could I (the representative of Yanqui capitalism) give him some clothes. I left a pair of shoes one morning and he came back in the evening and demanded some shirts and trousers. I told him to bugger off. There were plenty of beggars in our neighborhood.



2 Responses

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  1. Patrick Truax said, on September 13, 2007 at 2:25 am

    Ah, Cuba! The socialist paradise of the Left. Going through a Diplomat’s trash would make sense if it was MINIT folks doing the digging. But the locals? See how well Cuba treats it citizens! Oh, well, at least the health care is free..

  2. Patrick Truax said, on September 13, 2007 at 2:31 am

    Written by my Dad, who once again forgot to sign it. He is a contributing editor at Artorius and is tasked with running the Black Ops out of Artorius.

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