All for one beer

It’s a long time until I will be ready to retire, still I have read very carefully the proposed Social Security Law that is going to be discussed by parliament.  Like many Cubans, I decided to work without a net and earn my living through freelancing because, to me, the guarantee of a future pension was remote compared with the economic pressures of the present.

Looking at the new proposal for higher pensions, I notice the token numbers that are meant to make up for the five-year increase in the retirement age.  Astonished, I read that a preschool teacher who will retire after the new legislation goes into effect will receive only thirty-five pesos more a month than someone who retires this morning.  Not only is she looking at a postponement of the date of her deserved rest, she will receive the laughable equivalent of 1.40 CUCs.

To state it with all the harshness it deserves, this woman will now work five years longer and in return, when she finally leaves the workforce, she will get enough extra money to drink one beer a month.  Perhaps the retired educator does not like alcohol or her doctor has forbidden it, in which case she could use this “remarkable” raise to buy herself a tube of toothpaste or a deodorant. It would be nice and dramatic if this hypothetical woman took to the streets chanting the question, “All this for just one beer?”

Translator’s note:

1.40 CUCs is approximately 1.40 Canadian or American dollar, 0.75 British pounds, or 0.95 Euros.


  1. I heard that it is between 8 and 10 cuc per month ( +/- 10-13 $)
    Social security will become one of the major problems in Cuba, the elderly population is growing rapidly and rely on the family, neighbors and friends. Homes for elderly do not exist as far has I know.


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