The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

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Daily Dictator

I saw this on the wire a couple of days ago, and didn't get a chance to post it at the time. Here's a nice illustration of the isolated world in which journalists reside: a photograph provided by Claudia Daut of REUTERS.

A vintage car passes a building on a street in Havana November 19, 2006. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)

Ok, some things that I'd like to point out about this photograph, which is similar to other works by Claudia Daut:

1) First and foremost, notice that this is a photograph of Havana, which as I've noted was at one point in time the most prosperous city in South and Central America. Of course, in Fidel Castro's Cuba, Havana serves as some sort of restricted zone, outside of which foreign photographers generally don't dare to go--but I digress.

2) Secondly, notice the euphemistic term vintage car. Some suggest that Cuba's reliance on old cars is due to the American blockade, but I would counter that the reality of the situation is that Cuba's communist government is wholly incapable of either producing a native Cuban automobile, or affording to import them from foreign car manufacturers, at least for the proletariat that Castro claims to serve. There being no European embargo of Cuba, one would assume that the Cuban economy would have no problems finding good proletarian cars from European or South American automakers, but when the Cuban government's policy is to essentially disregard its debts, it's no wonder there are very few companies that want to risk trading with the tropical island.

(That pesky "capitalism" thing again.)

3) Finally, notice the condition of the building in the background. Again, considering that Havana was once the jewel of South and Central America, I would gladly say that this type of scene isn't unusual... in 1945! But here we have Fidel Castro's supposedly modern city, in which one must hand-wash and hang their laundry out to dry.

As a play on what they used to say in Russia,

"There is no Truth in Reuters,
there is no Reuters in Truth."

 Tags: castro claudia daut REUTERS Dictatorship

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