UnNews:Counter-revolution in Cuba begins
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4 August 2006
Now that good old Fidel has gone, UnNews can report that things are hotting up in a counter-revolution that is already having a dramatic impact on the workings of Cubans' bowels all over the island.
It all started at the Pesky Beach Hotel in Eastern Cuba. Enraged that tourists - one of Cuba's main sources of wealth - are subject entirely to the whims of the Tourism Ministry, an English guest at the hotel protested to staff that there was an inadequate range of condiments on the table in the restaurant, and demanded chili sauce to complement the fresh lime that he had squeezed on his langustines. The waitress pointed out that Fidel Castro had personally banned chili sauce, insisting that "capitalist pig" tourists should be fed bland food in line with the preferences of their porcine relatives. Spicy food is also banned by the Tourist Ministry because of serious risks of widespread digestive and social disorder if it ever reached the native Cuban population. There has nevertheless long been a brisk "under the table" trade in unopened canned drinks and other "goodies" made available solely to tourists, but this hasn't until now included chili sauce because of its almost total unavailability on the island.
The counter-revolution started when a bottle of Tabasco sauce, disguised as a sex education aid, was smuggled into the Pesky Beach Hotel, and got passed around the restaurant while officials of the hotel's "Public Relations" department's backs were turned.
An official of the Tourism Ministry, in a leaked memo to the ruling junta, indicated alarm that tourists were leading this civil disobedience campaign, with the tacit support of many hotel staff. It seems that training provided to locals in how to satisfy their tourist guests' needs had back-fired, and now enterprising cigar workers are making illicit "habanero" chili sauce and selling it to tourists and rebel hotel workers alike.
"The stranglehold of the Ministry of Tourism has been broken", reported a Cuban waiter, who wants to remain anonymous, explaining, "If the party apparatchiks found out I had been using or supplying chili sauce, then I would be locked up for many years on a diet of bland black bean stew".
The rebellion, combined with unconfirmed medical reports that Fidel Castro died from malnutrition, is likely to escalate into total counter-revolution, according to a manager at the Havana Rum Company, himself now a chili sauce user, and leader of the local Alcoholics Oblivious help-yourself support group. "Next we'll be getting garlic, ginger, and even beef", he said. Beef is banned in Cuba for fear that it would encourage illicit hamburger restaurants along McDonald's lines and reduce the status of hotel workers, something that the regime is passionately against because of its association with American values.
A leading Caribbean political commentator reports that the sudden use of chili sauce is a particularly interesting development as a major exporter of chilis is Venezuela, one of Cuba's closest allies. He told UnNews, "It would be ironical if the counter-revolution gains momentum from a source hitherto believed to be an unequivocal supporter of Cuba's digestively-repressive regime. We'll have to wait and see whether the liberation of Cubans' palates will be followed by demands for other freedoms. There's no doubt that that Cuba's increasing affluence has given its population greater expectations for indulgence, and the regime is behind the times if it thinks it can continue to stop the people enjoying what they like."