Senor Tayaba’s Story

Senor Tayaba’s Story

In the remnants of the once luxurious home, we sat in the parlor with Senor Tayaba.  He related that his family had owned the home since 1920.  He was one of 10 children.  His father was quite wealthy, owning over 400 hectares of land, a cigar factory, a cement factory and seven homes on the beach.  At the time of the revolution, his family home was divided into homes for other families and all of his father’s property was confiscated by the government.  His brother who was living in one of the beach houses was confronted by a truck of military personnel who allowed him and his family a few minutes to vacate the home, taking nothing with them.  The government also seized all the bank accounts, allowing the family to keep $200.  The agricultural land confiscated by the government remains fallow.  It is difficult for me to comprehend that happening.  I think I would resist some way but it would be hard to battle with a truckload of militia.  Today he works as an accountant at the hospital, making about 25 CUC’s per month.  He rents out three rooms of his home to tourists, mainly French, German, Russian, Italian and those from the United Kingdom.  Yet he has to pay the government a tax of 200 CUC’s for each room rented and an annual tax of 10% of his profits.  He said that things were getting better.