ESPN's attempt to shame Cuba for its slums backfires

I’d rather be star in my own little Shakespearean tragedy than an be an extra in a Trump prison drama reality TV show any fucking day of the week.

It’s a matter of personal taste.


So that’s what you saw in the Central Valley farmworker communities in California this year? Which one? I don’t remember seeing you there.


No, they really don’t. It had a population of one as of 2011.


Cuba is so stupid!

They should have been engaged in international trade the past 50 years, building up their economy so that they wouldn’t have any poors!

It’s so easy to eliminate poverty, just follow the USA (USA! USA!) example :smirk:

  • Says the world’s richest country, still riddled with poverty despite bringing in untold billions of dollars annually.

Either ESPN has never been to a tropical country, or they simply think “tropical country = slums”.


My thoughts exactly. Sure, it’s a little run down but it’s not like Cuba is filled with brand new gleaming glass and steel towers. It looks to me like your typical lower middle class urban area – a little old and decrepit, but not without charm or soul.

I don’t get the point they are trying to make with this. Is it some sort of misguided political statement?


But brutalized by the crushing hand of Communism! I’m told that the crushing hand of communism is 246% denser than the crushing hand of authoritarian capitalism and ~180% denser than the crushing hand of incompetent populism.


Even aside from the convenient supply of ‘actual slums near american stadiums’; what exactly did ESPN think was going to happen?

There is a lot of evidence to the effect that ‘the communism’ doesn’t work so well when asked to generate wealth; that hasn’t really been a serious point of concern since the USSR collapsed under its own weight; but one of the relative strengths of communist and quasi-communist populist governments tends to be exactly the fact that while their overall wealth is mediocre at best; they frequently are quite effective at ameliorating the ‘low-hanging-fruit’ public health and other problems associated with extremes of poverty.

If you want to snipe at a sinister communist regime; why would you be stupid enough to go after their slums(which actually have decent odds of being healthier and less abjectly deprived than other people’s slums) rather than sniping at the complete lack of fancy real estate not owned by well placed government figures, or the feeble state of innovation or something?


I’m not actually convinced you’re right on this. I know people who vacation in Cuba, and they claim the people there are actually pretty happy, and while yes, their situation is not ideal, healthcare there is great and available for everyone, as are most other essential services. Sure the food is bland, but there’s enough for everyone.


Oh I see…

Like have a permanent residence?

No I meant sleep and forage for food there. I bet its more than one. Looks safe. Quiet. No cops. Two exits. Plenty of wind breaks and shelter from rain.

Nice place to park you and your family until you get word on that tenuous living situation you’re holding out hope for…

Are you not in a big city with people sleeping all over the streets and in alleys and doorways?

I just talked to one. Veronica. She’s having a bad day… someone tore her altar down. Her sacred her space.

The teensy place she had that she claimed for herself to keep stuff that meant something to her that she didn’t wanna haul around.


Happiness drivers are - safety, basic needs, civic and social engagement, equality and family.

Poor Cubans are happier than poor Americans. Its not the lack of material wealth. Its the income inequality.

Give all the Kindergartners in a call a dollar… You’re good. A hundred dollars, You’re also good. Give one a dollar and no one else? You’re fucked.

Feed your cats… you’re good. Feed them one at a time? No. Just no.

Misery loves company they say… I’ve never felt miserable in bad times with good company. Just… engaged and focused and concerned.


Or just you know “America”

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An obvious fact pops up from all of this. Governments love to spend alot of money on sports stadiums and tend to leave to neighborhoods around said stadium looking like shitholes, both capitalist and communist forms of government around the world are guilty of that sin.

Just look at what happened at Beijing, Athens and Sochi and what’s shaping up in Rio after the Olympics where held in these places.


The differences are perhaps subtle, but I noticed these factors that make it unlikely to be in the US or Canada:

  • it’s not 75% roadway and surface parking
  • there are palm trees

It is my impression that there are plenty of working class neighbourhoods in Anglophone America have one or other of those features, but not many that have both.


And since Bloomberg had big plans for that neighborhood, he did nothing to fix the streets or sewers because he’s trying to put pressure on the businesses there to leave.
Try to drive down the street there and avoid the holes and craters in the road. You can’t.


I’d agree with this. My parents just visited Cuba, and their impression was that while poverty can be dire, the feeling is one of hope. They see things improving dramatically for the first time in many people’s lifetimes. And as you say, there’s food and healthcare for everyone. The big problem is that most of the major buildings were built decades ago, and many are slowly crumbling… and much of their infrastructure (especially the trains) is extremely old and decrepit. It relied on Soviet supplies, which don’t arrive anymore. But Cubans are incredibly ingenious about keeping things running and making do with what they have.

The problems they saw were unexpected. For example, there’s very little fishing going on, since the government controls all fisheries and is understandably paranoid about letting people get on boats freely. So there’s small, highly-controlled fishing areas or people just fishing off the dock.


Agreed, came here to say the same thing, especially about the free medical care.

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People sleep on the doorsteps of sports stadiums all over the US. Outside, near doors that are very rarely opened for events being that the stadiums uses are mostly seasonal. Giant, largely publicly funded structures that are closed most of the time with people sleeping on the streets just outside.

Maybe this is an issue that ESPN might like to address.




People work there, then? People who shit and piss and have to do at least a little bit of walking to get from their cars or buses to their place of work? Then they need sewers and sidewalks. And they don’t seem to have them.