“World Onnetsu Therapy” Convention in Cuba (1)

New York, N.Y. xxx


Cuba who strives hard to go between capitalism and communism

Two types of currencies can be exchanged

It was my tenth visit to Cuba this year. Many things have changed a lot since two years ago. We also talked about this in the last issue = = October 6 =, but I repeat here.

Now, in Cuba there are two types of Cuban Pesos. (CUC) for tourists and Cuban pesos for Cuban people (CUP). The salaries are paid to Cuban in CUP. In the past Cubans could NOT carry CUC. It was in violation of the law, but these two currencies came into exchangeable two years ago and the Cubans can exchanged at 25 (CUP) to one CUC. The price is indicated now in two currencies at the restaurant.

After this monetary allowance mechanism started, in the city I began witnessing the strong greed (tricky) to have CUC among Cubans  and some started to cheat foreigners in the desire of CUC. People who are in direct contact with travelers, such as taxi drivers and restaurant waiters, will try to grab CUC and cheat foreigners! I was very sad to see this. The Cubans began to change!

For example, just stealing a little CUC and stealing it will be 25 times CUP, so it can be said that in Cuba, where 800 CUP is the average monthly salary, this system change had a huge impact. As I took a taxi, for the change of 25 CUC I was to receive, I was given 25 CUP!! He handed over 25 CUP instead of 25 CUC. A friend of mine also faced a deception a lot. Got cheated, When I went to a place, a shop where only CUC could be used before, I saw many Cuban. Menus, etc. both CUC and CUP were written.

Let’s say, there was 800 CUP of salary and it was a quantity enough to live without extravagance for a month, but if you have CUC you can shop a lot more in foreign goods are sold. How sad that that everybody cheats in greed of CUC! Something cheap, but I feel that they want to have CUC and it seems natural. It was not like that before.

There is no medical expenses in Cuba. The minimum and education of food, clothing and shelter are guaranteed, and it is free. However, it seems to me that there is ambition or desire to be more rich. People who have lived in simple life in their history have become anywhere else in the world because they are able to behave like foreigners, greedily by suddenly only having CUC.

I also went to Indonesia the other day, but it is a very poor country but people are happy. They were not cheating. I could not put up with this kind of dirty way in new Cuba, there was a big difference.

Cuba as a country is poor without money and the Japanese government has recently made a lot of donations. Given a lot of money

In my opinion, I think that unless it is unified into either ONE PESO SYSTEM, it will become disaster.  a serious thing. Cuba will have to raise salary as much as one can, with one currency. Even if we secure education, living place, food and doctor, we can not earn money if CUP value of CUP is so low. so it seems that everyone who is outstanding will leave Cuba. How sad this will be.

Pride as a Cuban

It can be said that the country of Cuba is the only country that is working hard to make the average of the people rich, using the communist ideology, to succeed.

Cuba is for long time a colony of, Spain, then America, Russia. The country that has been always controlled by foreign countries. But, the Cubans has a pride as a Cuban person and trying so hard not to be oppressed by other countries as much as possible.

Cuba will not easily accept the money from China that is trying so hard to control the country of Cuba. I hope this will NOT happen.. Although China did started like that, money has become God, morality and religious ideas are getting ruined. And the government dominates all of the money financially

I am sad, the Cubans who fled from Cuba and came to the USA often say bad things about Cuba. How valuable are the people who are hard working remain. It is a country to cherish. I want people in Cuba to do their best. I hope that they will work hard at the mechanism of going between capitalism that they get money as much as they work under the ideology of communism that develops while equalizing each other.

Cubans are differrnt – superb human being. Thanks to education, it is really wonderful to see that all people dressed well and behave well properly with intelligent and dignity. Cubans help each other well. It is sad that now some cheating travelers, but knowing Cubans’ spirits, and Honesty and Diligences. I hope this is a temporary situation, which soon disappears. I want Cuba to succeed.

Originally published as Vol. 44 in Weekly Biz, Month xx, 201_; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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