I've always suspected Cubans were always easily distracted. Anything turn the heads away from the task at hand, a phone call, a smell, or more commonly another Cuban yelling at them. Which of course is quite common because Cubans only travel in groups basically yelling at each other, quite passionately. Your true power is your ability to modulate a certain tone that will draw attention to oneself. Loudness is helpful, but easy to tune out, there has to be a forceful assertiveness needed to get your way, accented by hand gestures, standing on ones toes and when all else fails a hug, handshake or kiss. The point is to get noticed, hence get your message across and then ultimately get your way through force of will. Clearly this force of will has filled both houses of Congress with Cuban-Americans and undoubtedly the White House someday as well.
Force of will is required for survival in the island. Those who choose to remain in Cuba spend the greater part of each day trying to get simple things done: fix a tire, get gas, get basic food. Life is a constant struggle of searching and red tape. Cubans rely on huge networks of friends and acquaintances to make life bearable in the island. With few consumer goods, television, computers or diversions to hold an individual's attention all that's left is yelling at each other. Which is funny because Cubans still prefer to yell into a house or building than just texting "hey I'm outside". Cell phones are ubiquitous like everywhere else, but the preferred method of communication is still a raised voice. You could put Cuba on the list of "loud countries" like Italy and the Middle East.
An uncle of my spouse said "Cuba is best country in the world, if you're rich." Actually, anyplace is better if you're rich. My mom's wealthy husband promised her a Blackglama mink coat if she moved to Logan, Utah. All that money didn't make Logan any warmer or greener in the winter. Money can't buy you happiness in Cuba, nor can it buy you orange juice, fresh milk, fast internet connections, onions, and countless other staples that are not in short supply, they are in no supply. It is illegal to have beef. Meat as crime? I'd like to see the Cuba CSI investigate why cows in Cuba have so many "accidents".
There are countless stories of deprivation in Cuba. The giant ruin that has become of Havana. The weird propaganda, Fidel's face on every wall, billboard, book, pamphlet, flag, window. The chronic mismanagement of everything. Why should having beef be criminal? There is small hope in the changes that Raul Castro is proposing, however, Cuba has such a long road to take to get to the 21st century.....because it hasn't even made it through the 1960's yet.