The humble

I had not yet been born in April 1961, when the socialist character of the Cuban process was declared.  “This is the socialist revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble…” Fidel Castro announced near the foreboding gates of the Colon Cemetery.  Many who listened to him, jubilant and optimistic, assumed that the first revolutionary objective would be to stop having humble people.  With this illusion, they went out to champion a future without poverty.

Observing the present audience for what was announced nearly fifty years ago, I wonder when prosperity will stop being seen as counterrevolutionary.  Will wanting to live in a house where the wind doesn’t tear the roof off stop being, some day, a petty bourgeois weakness?  All the material shortages that I observe beg the question of the common sense of this colossal upheaval in the history of the country, only to stop having the rich, at the expense of having so many poor.

If, at the very least, we were more free.  If all these materials needs were not also expressed in a long chain that makes every citizen a servant of the State.  If the condition of the humble was a choice, voluntarily assumed and practiced, in particular, by those who govern us.  But no.  The renewed exaltation of humility launched by Raúl Castro this January first confirms for us what we learned in decades of economic crisis: poverty is the road that leads to obedience.


  1. Actually, in 1958, per capita income in Cuba was double that of Spain and comparable to that of Japan.
    The main reason for this post, however, is to draw the attention of anglophones interested in Cuban music to the fact that the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is about to transmit the second of two programmes (yes, that IS the way to spell it :-)) under the title “Playing Castro’s Tune.” It may be heard for the next seven days at: .

  2. Hey,

    I still can’t believe you don’t know how to make clay roofs, bricks and mortar. I can make that stuff in my own backyard.



  3. @Noah… I really hope that you were making a sarcastic joke and I just missed to find the humor in your statement.

    @Everyone else… Please notice the little Weblog Awards thingy in the top right hand corner of the main page… Go and vote for Yoani (again) please!

  4. Anomino, as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have a clue on how to make clay roofs, bricks and mortar. Nor would I put my family at risk trying to do something so half-baked. Like most Canadians, I would hire a qualified contractor to do major roof repairs. I’m at a complete loss to understand your point, if you have one.

  5. Anomino, as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have a clue on how to make clay roofs, bricks and mortar. Nor would I put my family at risk trying to do something so half-baked. Like most Canadians, I would hire a qualified contractor to do major roof repairs. I’m at a complete loss to understand your point, if you have one.

    * Well, obviously your at a complete loss. What is so difficult about understanding how to make bricks? You seemed scared at the prospect. You say, you’d get someone to do it for you, just like you’d get someone to grow your tomatoes. Growing tomatoes and making bricks aren’t comparable to rocket physics. You can do it, it’s not that difficult.

    And why did I mention this? Did you not even read her blog? She is complaining about how her house is falling apart. So I answered her and said, learn to make bricks. If you people are so scared about making bricks, maybe you can work together as a community and learn this. Just like you learn math and how to read, you can learn how to build your own homes. And than she can shut up with her petty complains.

    Your lucky I am not your dictator, I would make you build your own homes, no matter how scared you are to live well.

    Take care.


  6. Please note: Until YESTERDAY it was illegal for Cubans to build their own homes whether they knew how to make bricks or not

    From London’s Daily Telegraph

    Raul Castro lifts ban on Cubans building their own homes
    Cubans will be allowed to build their own homes using private means in the latest reform announced by President Raul Castro.

    By Fiona Govan
    Last Updated: 6:53PM GMT 05 Jan 2009

    The policy change, announced late on Sunday, is the latest symbolic shift away from the hardline communism of the Caribbean island’s past 50 years and is aimed at alleviating a housing shortage that was worsened by hurricanes last year.

    Since officially taking over from his brother Fidel last February, Raul Castro, 77, has ushered in a raft of largely symbolic economic reforms designed to make life easier for the island’s 11 million people.

    Until now the construction of homes has been the responsibility of the government but the state has failed over the last three years to fulfil its annual goal of building 100,000 new homes. The shortage was compounded when three hurricanes hit Cuba last year levelling over half a million homes.

    Cubans will now be allowed to construct their own homes using clear guidelines governing the dimensions of a proposed new dwelling, Mr Castro said in a televised address on a visit to the island’s second city of Santiago de Cuba to inspect new homes donated by the Venezuelan government.

    He explained how the initiative would work. “OK, here you can build. I’ve given you this amount of space, that amount of room for a street, and that amount for a sidewalk. Now build your little home with whatever you can.”

    The chronic shortage of building materials will, however, make it difficult for individuals to construct their own dwellings. Although cement is offered for sale by the state, other materials such as sand, stone and iron are only available on the black market.

  7. It is important to remember: In Cuba, EVERYTHING that is not expressly allowed, is FORBIDDEN. The people are the children of the state… they have no rights. In fact fewer rights than children in many European countries have. The Daddy State decides everything… where you will live, go to school, work, everything.

  8. Anonimo, based on your recent posts, I’m starting to form the impression you’re a few bricks short of a full load if you get my drift. Believe me, I thank my lucky stars I live in a democracy and you’re not my dictator. I’d like to see you run in an election on the platform that everyone should be required to build their own home using home-made building materials and see how far that gets you.

    ER’s post is interesting. I am under few illusions about the stupidity of the Castro dictatorship. But a law against using private means to build one’s own home has surely got to take the cake. Positively Kafkaesque.

  9. Anonimo, based on your recent posts, I’m starting to form the impression you’re a few bricks short of a full load if you get my drift. Believe me, I thank my lucky stars I live in a democracy and you’re not my dictator. I’d like to see you run in an election on the platform that everyone should be required to build their own home using home-made building materials and see how far that gets you.

    ER’s post is interesting. I am under few illusions about the stupidity of the Castro dictatorship. But a law against using private means to build one’s own home has surely got to take the cake. Positively Kafkaesque.

    * Haha, you have a sense of humor!

  10. Thank you sickboy (point 5 above) to remind us all of the Weblog Awards voting.
    Yoani deserves the encouragement, given the circumstances which require courage.
    Keep the support going!

  11. On the subject of houses and ‘do it yourself’:
    With my limited time spent there, in Habana we noted that despite poverty, the Cubanos take pride in their surroundings we looked at some living quarters, and there is a certain effort and pride, ornaments displayed, coloured cloth draped at the wall. Although they have no money to ‘renovate’, they are trying to make the most of what they can make out of little or nothing, in their unmaintained houses.
    Sadly with no ownership there is no responsiblity for anyone to maintain the houses. This makes these buildings full of unretouched memories and in no-nonsense use – the irony of of upreserved structures preserving the charming colonial-era of Habana.
    From an outsider perspective this gives Habana a certain ‘Sleeping Beauty’ feel, all those wonderful buildings which in 1959 literally ‘went to sleep’ to be woken up again in another eara, when someone would lovingly ‘kiss’ them back to live – but the Prince Charming only exists in fairytales?

  12. A question for Yoani Sanchez. Another discussion on ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba is in our news. Is this a good idea? Does it help the Cuban People, or does it help keep the communist Cuban government in power? What do you say, Yoani?

    Una pregunta por Yoani Sanchez. Hay otra discussion en las noticias aqui tratanto de terminar el embargo del USA contra Cuba. Es una buena idea o no? Ayudara la Gente Cubano–o ayudara extender el poder del gobierno Cubana Communista? Que dices, Yoani?

  13. Anonimo/Noah’s points are provocative and are meant to upset respectable people exactly like those who would only hire qualified contractors to do such works like they do in Canada…
    Unfortunately in Cuba there’s no money. Is it (Fidel) Castro’s fault? In part yes. But had he opened up to the freedom everybody’s talking about, Cuba would have been another Caribbean holiday resort island for those who have their roofs done by their contractors while they’re away. Millions of N Americans would have invaded the original Bacardi distilleries, taken guided tours of the Cohiba factories and after a week in an all-inclusive resort maybe bought last minute souvenirs on the 4-daily ferries to and from Miami. What a dream! Many Cubans would have had infinitely much more money than thay have now. Many others on the contrary would have not. They would be begging on the streets, operate petty crimes but also, why not?, to exploit their entrepreneurial talents, dedicated themselves to the organised crime (under the supervision/protection/control of other fat cats in Miami perhaps). Forget education, health, social services. The rich Cubans would have their children educated in te US or in Europe. Who gives a toss about the rest. They would be allowed to earn money without paying taxes into Cuba because some convenient tax treaty with other countries eager to get their cash would allow them to do so. The Government would be too busy cashing in bribes from right and left (the aforementoned contractors perhaps) and the politicians stucking up wealth in the US with the blessing of the fat cats in Washington DC. Aaah, this is democracy. I feel better already.
    Raul Castro is too old and too stubborn probably to start properly relaxing policies. A younger leader would have already booked a flight to Washington to start negotiating trades in the interest of keeping the power for the interest of all. Imagine Cubans received individually, say, 10 times the money they have now (and that’s nothing considering where they’re starting from). Without making any sophisticated calculations, this could be achieved by simply opening up to the US. But since you cannot only take without giving, a controlled inflow of N American economy will have to be allowed (maybe even Canadian roof contractors). The key word is controlled.
    I know, I know, detractors will say that this wouldn’t work. That human nature is not made to be controlled and that corruption would take over. I agree. But we must keep on trying. This is the right way to live together in an overcrowded planet. By limiting the income of the Jobs, Gateses, Buffets, Soroses, the Wall Street and City fat cats (gone already maybe?) of this world, their entrepreneurial nature would not be humiliated and there would more available for distribution. Not equal distribution. This is were probably Communism was wrong in the long run. Just distribution to ensure that a worldwide ideal minimum wage is set. I don’t know how long it’ll take but I believe it is worth trying. Today’s Cubans will be remembered for having been one of, if not the last barricade against the takeover of a chaotic illusionary freedom.

  14. To end or not to end the embargo
    Well I can’t speak for Yoani, though in other posts I think she’s made it clear she’s for taking away the regime’s number one excuse for all its failures.

    But here is my own opinion. First, no one can argue the embargo is a success… Castros have maintained uninterrupted power for 50 years. The embargo hasn’t ended that. And we can’t go back to what if’s and try alternate histories to see what the outcome would have been… the space-time continuum doesn’t work that way, and anyway, if it did, I’m sure it would have been Paredon! for Fidel after Moncada… not a cushy short stay in prison with his cigars, books, and cuisine.

    For me: The U.S. should end the embargo unconditionally and immediately. Why unconditionally? Why not say “well free the political prisoners and then we’ll end the embargo”? Because of course the regime does not WANT the embargo to end and that would give them a perfect excuse to keep it. Not giving in to the demands of the empire. So, call their bluff. Just end it. And end the travel and remittance restrictions for ALL Americans, not just family members. Flood the country with yanks and let them support Cubans with their dollars as much as they like.

    The other thing people don’t understand is what IS the embargo? The embargo basically means that Cuba can’t buy from the US ON CREDIT. That’s all it means. CUBA IMPORTS MORE FOOD FROM THE UNITED STATES THAN FROM ANY OTHER COUNTRY. It imports medical supplies and anything else it can purchase with cash up front. In 2007 the US was Cuba’s 6th largest trading partner — I don’t have the figures for 2008. Cuba has recently (again and repeatedly) defaulted on its debts to Japan, the European countries, in short everyone it ‘borrows’ from. Lifting the embargo will mean that Cuba can buy from the US on credit and incur debts it has no way to repay. Oh well… join the global meltdown. Or should I say, looks like the world is rushing to join Cuba!

  15. Speaking of the embargo… I think ER is right, with the embargo in place the the Regime has their biggest excuse in place and can blame everything on the evil empire.

    However, lifting the embargo can do one of two things.
    A) Finally expose the regime with all its flaws and force it to make some serious changes.
    B) Force the regime’s hand and tighten controls even more. Just because the US ends the embargo it doesn’t mean Castro will stop being at war with the US. Right now he lets in Americans because it makes him look like the good guy. But if the embargo ends, I’m guessing he’ll put a stop to that. He’ll just say it’s another plan that the empire is using to exploit poor Cubans, corrupt them on their own land and take advantage of them.

    That being said… In my view changes on the island need to be made progressively if Cubans hope to avoid a USSR style crumbling of their economy. There are ways of easing their people into a more pro-business style of socialism that will prepare them for the eventual and inevitable transition into capitalism and democracy. They can do it. Unlike the rest of the Caribbean Cuba has a highly educated population and that will be to their advantage when the Regime crumbles.
    Cuba is ready to finally govern itself.
    Give it back to the people!

    But then again, what do I know… I’ve been drinking NyQuil all day.

  16. Sickboy —
    I think you’re probably absolutely right. If the US ended the embargo, travel restrictions and so on, the Fidel/Raul government would be highly likely to put in their own restrictions. Maybe an outright ban, a huge entry fee, something. But… that doesn’t change my opinion that the US should take the steps IT can take. It can’t control what happens next… and I don’t think whatever the Cuban gov’t did would be worse than it is now.

    So I predict your “B” choice.

    I don’t think your “A” is ever going to happen. It hasn’t yet and it won’t. The regimes myriad flaws are already perfectly obvious… and no changes serious or otherwise are in sight.

    No, what will happen is some old men will die… and then we’ll see.

  17. Sickboy, in terms of “B”, I don’t think it would be in the economic self-interest of the Cuban government to impose restrictions on ordinary American citizens visiting Cuba. They already allow (in fact actively promote) visits by millions of Canadian and European tourists every year.

    The US government spends millions of tax dollars every year supposedly to promote democracy in Cuba, and then turns around and forbids ordinary American citizens who want to use their own dollars from doing much the same thing. You may as well paint a big bulls eye on the back of any Cuban “dissident” who is seen as having anything to do with the USA. ER got it exactly right when he called for an end to this foolish and counter-productive policy.

  18. To the moderador:
    Would you please let me know why every time that I try to place an answer, you keep bloquing me, because I don’t understand why?

  19. Ok so my blocking it’s only in the spanish blog! would you tell me why, or maybe someone can tell me why I have been blocked out of the spanish blog? or maybe Raul Castro is playing his titeres here too?

  20. Debbye,
    I’m very sorry if your comments have been blocked. No “person” has been blocking them — not me or anyone else. The software this site uses to catch spam is not perfect, unfortunately, and often ‘real’ comments get caught by the spam catcher and don’t appear.

    If you post a comment it should appear immediately. If It doesn’t, try posting it again, but change the wording slightly.
    I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

    The spam blocker is supposed to have a function where I can go look at the comments that have been placed in the spam folder, and ‘approve’ any comments that aren’t really spam. But that doesn’t work either! Unfortunately the English site and some of the older sites, use an older software… the newer languages work better.

    Again, my apologies, and let me assure you — no one has blocked you on purpose!

    English Translator

  21. Debbye and others,

    One more note on the ‘spam catcher’ — I do have the option of turning it off… but this site gets as many as 100 spam each day (some of the languages get thousands!)… and if I turned off the spam catcher you would see each entry with hundreds of ‘comments’ mostly trying to sell you things you don’t want, or encouraging you to go to sites whose contents you do not want to see!

    I do know that the software company that makes the spam catcher is continually working to make it better.

    English Translator

  22. Communism works fine… ask the earliest commy, Ganghis Khan. Well, they say he ran a meritocracy, but the thing is everyone who lived under his rule had it made like a communist society. Everyone had gold plates and silk bed sheets. Why? Because when he and his men went to war, they didn’t immediately pillage the villages in a mad scramble, they first killed the victims while saving some who could be used as human shields or had intelligence that was of use, than they systematically took all that was of worth which was than spread amongst the Khan’s peoples. That’s why I say that Fido is going about it all wrong. He must attack so he can get those riches like Khan!!! And the best attack is through the media! It’s the media that has sent the little american boys and girls to war after war, it is the media that they believe more than their parents it’s true. The war is to be fought on another plain, another medium it appears. I just hope the Cubans can hold on long enough to be a brigade in this war I speak of is all. And to all those that think this is but a dream or a nightmare to you I say YES YES IT IS!!!

  23. ,i>at the expense of having so many poor.

    Yoani must not know what real poverty is. The real poor people of this world (like those in 1958 Cuba) do not have clean drinking water, they do not own their homes, they do not go to graduate school, they do not have free health care, they are not able to attend baseball games and the opera, they do not have decent jobs, they can not read and write, they are malnutritioned, they are desperate and exploited, etc. etc. Maybe Raul Castro is right. Cubans don’t appreciate all their freebies and subsidies and maybe Cubans need to start seeing what these things cost.

    Will wanting to live in a house where the wind doesn’t tear the roof off stop being, some day, a petty bourgeois weakness?

    Oh come on with this kind of hyperbole. No less than Raul Castro has been going around the country urging the construction of homes with better roofs.

  24. Indeed, av2ts. It’s amazing how saintly Lord Raul must be to put up with such ingratitude from his serfs.

    He should cancel the baseball season to teach them a lesson.

  25. That is so weird. I took a photo of that very same window when I was in Habana last month.

  26. Hey, Noah. We are lucky you aren’t our dictator? Well, if you were, many of us would be doing everything in our power to take you out. I know I would and I would die trying. You have a lot of nerve to come on here and run your mouth on an internet forum like that. I bet you don’t do that in real life. If you did, someone would certainly kick the crap out of you, at least in a “free” society they (we) would. Adios, little Napoleon!

  27. av2ts, your kind of thinking is grossly flawed. Why is it that the ideals you espouse and the ideals of free-thinking and free-acting people must be mutually exclusive of one another? I read an article in the Miami Herald where an American and two Canadians basically argued the same thing in terms of the loss of personal freedom being the price to be paid for free education and health care. That is truly dangerous thinking. Nothing is worth the loss of personal freedom. Also, impoverishing everyone in order to lift up the truly wretched is not an admirable accomplishment. The only thing that has been spread is misery. And do Cubans really own their own homes? I don’t think so. Many homes were confiscated in the aftermath of the Revolution and now the government can evict people from “their” homes whenever they see fit (based on anti-social behavior). I would hardly call that ownership. Lastly, as for education, I think it is great that Cuba has such a high literacy rate when it comes to the 3 Rs, but it is a total injustice to be teaching these people what to think and when to think it. What good is an education if you can’t read what you want to read or speak of that which you want to speak? Supporters of this “revolution” make me sick.

    As for the embargo, it’s a good discussion when it isn’t burdened with hard core ideology. So far, so good on that front here. It’s a tough question and there are valid points on both sides, but one inescapable truth is as mentioned above – it hasn’t succeeded in bringing down los hermanos Castro. Is that our (US) fault? No. The Castros will do anything to stay in power and keep their system in place long after they are gone (dead hand power). We can never forget that and must remember that they are the real problem and the real barrier to improving people’s personal lives in Cuba.

  28. Patricio, Yoani’s post was about how all Cubans are suffering from poverty. My point is that Cubans may not have much material things, but most are not poor in the sense it is conceived throughout the world.

    Most Cubans do own their own homes – 80% is the most recent figure I saw. No one is saddled with housing payments they can not afford. There is no foreclosure and no homelessness. Who has been kicked out of their home for political reasons? Who? Never heard of such a thing.

    Cubans are not brainwashed. They are very intelligent people and very critical, compared to the Americans I meet. Ideology is always pushed a bit through education. The US system is no different. Cubans can read what they want, say what they want. No one is in prison for speech. Those few dozen in prison referred to as “political prisoners” were all caught red-handed working with agents of the US Government. You can read the evidence online, which was never contested. They just think it is ok to work with the US Interest’s Section, Radio Marti or CubaNet while the US pursues a policy of regime change using these people…

    Americans ought to realize that the Revolution has not fallen because many people identify with it and are proud of it. They know it is far from perfect, but have seen their Government tackle many problems and efectively solve them. Transportation and energy in the last few years, for example. They know the Government is working for them and that socialism can solve anything. Here in the US we apparently can’t solve a thing.

  29. @av2ts

    So tell me… since everyone can say whatever they want… are the videos I’ve seen of the Women in White being beaten and dragged onto buses as they arrested, for peacefully asking for freedom for their husbands… are those like made by Hollywood just to fool us or something?

    Did the people I saw sleeping outdoors (in January)… were they just thinking it was too hot inside? What?

    Did the buses I saw passing people up at the stops…. stuffed so full the doors wouldn’t even close… was that evidence of the ‘solved’ transportation problem? Or the bus I took out to Vinales, that cost a mere $20+… more than the average Cuban’s monthly salary… was that? Or how about all the people standing along the autopista waiting for a chance to stand in the back of a truck to get where they’re going… was that it? Why were there empty seats on my bus to Vinales… it wasn’t a tour bus, we got on at the bus station, bought our fares. Why didn’t the fill the empty seats with Cubans, or stop along the highway and pick them up? Because those people were just out watching the traffic go by? They weren’t really trying to get anywhere?

  30. Posted by av2ts:
    “Cubans can read what they want, say what they want. No one is in prison for speech. Those few dozen in prison referred to as “political prisoners” were all caught red-handed working with agents of the US Government. You can read the evidence online, which was never contested. They just think it is ok to work with the US Interest’s Section, Radio Marti or CubaNet while the US pursues a policy of regime change using these people…”

    Several patently false statements. How can you contest “evidence” when you have no right to independent legal counsel, and are convicted in a show trial lasting but a few hours? I would encourage you to read the freely available reports from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and many others, that put a lie to your claims. Your statement “Cubans can read what they want, say what they want” is dead wrong. Independent media in Cuba is illegal. The ban on non-state media is written into the Cuban Constitution, with violators subject to lengthy prison sentences.

  31. av2ts, that is bogus propaganda bullshit you are spewing from the regime. That stuff may fly in Cuba or even your social circles, but nowhere else. Things are so good in Cuba that people are just literally dying to get out. Of course, you will refer to them as traitors or counter-revolucianaries. Yet why is it that those in the US, Canada, and Europe who sympathize with the revolution (the handful that they are) are not moving to Cuba. They are free to do so, aren’t they? They are welcome in Cuba, are they not? Yet, they are not there. While they admire some things that the Revolution has accomplished, they fear what would happen to them if they actually moved there and became permanent subjects of the ruthless Communist dictatorship of los hermanos Castro. I’ll give Cuba credit for one thing – it’s a lot better to live there than North Korea.

    Spin your BS all you want, but we ain’t buying what you are selling.

    And people are never kicked out of their homes as a form of political punishment? Right.

    I did an Altavista search, dude, and those were the first two stories that came up about government evictions from so-called “home owners.” So get a clue and spew your BS some place where the people will eat it up. I know, it sucks having free access to the www at our disposal. Such should only be reserved for the ruling elite and those who can be “trusted” to defend the Revolution. Middle finger, bra. Long live a FREE Cuba.

  32. Ardra, no Damas de Blanco have been been arrested or “beaten.” What happened in November was a stunt, intended to create those very fasle impressions, probably encouraged by a meeting with anti-Cuba US Representatives the week prior. That day, the Damas decided to occupy land in front of a Government Ministry and not leave until they got what they wanted. In a very stupid move, the Damas were live on the phone with (US propoganda chanel) Radio Marti as the incident unfolded. When passerbyers began to get into arguing matches and it threatened to get ugly, Cuban women police officers intervened, protecting the Damas from the citizens and putting them on a bus to be taken home. That is the account from the leader of the Damas, not my own. The Damas have been allowed to march against the Government several hundred times, right through the heart of Miramar. In the US and most countries, protesters are arrested nearly every day… this weekend in New York protesters were maced and arresed, in Oakland there were beatings and 100 arrests…

    As for your claim to have seen homeless people in Cuba in January, that would be a first. I have never heard anyone allege that homelessness is an issue in Cuba (and sawz zero myself there not too long ago). Where I live in Los Angeles, we have 90,000 homeless people.

    I will give you that transportation is not “solved.” No problem ever is. But the disappearance of the uncomfortable “el camelos” buses in favor of thousands of new Chinese buses is a huge step up. Intra and inter-city transportation has been much improved. The move today to allow private taxis (who can charge their own price) is an important reform, showing the Government’s committment to continually improve transport problems.

    John two, Cubans ARE allowed free independent legal counsel. Several of “the 75” used their own lawyers and those who could not afford it, were granted Cuban lawyers to defend them (same as any country). The laws about working with agents of the US, however, are quite clear.

    Cubans emigrate at a pretty much normal rate for the region, despite the enormous privleges they are given in the United States’ immigration system. They take to the seas about as much as those who live on the next big island over – Hispanola – despite being much further from the US mainland.

    Your articles supposedly documenting a pair of forced evictions in Cuba prove nothing. They are both written for CubaNet, which is subsidized by the US Government and is about as far from independent reporting as can be (they make no bones about that). In one case, the person was occupying a house illegally (and using it as a business) but could stay in if they simply paid for it. The other case is about a couple who quite openly worked with the US Interest’s Section, other foreign embassies abroad and probably the CIA (Robert Kent), receiving a nice stipend for their “work.” We don’t know the real circumstances beyond that “eviction”, except that they were given a new house and later were allowed to leave the country. Hardly the same as someone losing their job and house for something they can not control, as in the US.

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