RUSH: Tom in Toms River, New Jersey. Great to have you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how you doing? Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Good. Thank you. Yeah.
CALLER: You talked on Wednesday about Cuba and reminded me I wanted to let you know a little story about when I was there in 1991. I was there for 30 days working on the Pan Am Games. We had special visas to go there. And just an illustration of how communism doesn’t work. This kid from the hotel invited me to come to his house for dinner. I couldn’t leave the hotel with him. I had to meet him there, and he lived with his new bride and his parents in this apartment in old Havana. We sat down and we had a drink, had a little conversation. He didn’t really speak English, but his father had lived in Brooklyn for several years. We sit down to eat and halfway through the dinner I noticed that his mother is not eating with us. So I asked, I said, ‘Where is your mom?’ And his father translated, ‘Oh, she had to go to work.’ Okay, didn’t think anything of it. So I get up to go walk to the back of the apartment —
RUSH: I think I know where this is headed.
CALLER: I’m getting to the bathroom, okay, I looked and the door is open a crack, and his mother is in there watching TV. And all of a sudden I realized that in order for them to have me as a guest for dinner, I ate her dinner that night. That’s how well communism works. They were rationed their food. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to embarrass them. I finished dinner —
RUSH: You know what I thought you were going to say was she was out doing tricks because a lot of women in Havana have resorted to prostitution to earn money.
CALLER: All the women that were there wanted to try and pick us up, and they didn’t want money, they wanted us to take them into the tourist shop to buy new clothes for their kids because the only merchandise to buy in Cuba was in the tourist shops in the hotel. I went into a pharmacy in old Havana, I never so many empty shelves in my life. When I came back to this country the first place I went was —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. Did you just say you walked into a pharmacy and saw empty shelves?
CALLER: Yes, empty shelves.
RUSH: How can that be? They’ve got world class health care down there.
CALLER: Oh, I got their free health care when I was there because I picked up some kind of bacteria, Montezuma’s revenge or something, and they saw me in the hotel, didn’t charge me anything, but the medicine didn’t do anything.
RUSH: Why did you stay?
CALLER: I was working there for 30 days. I worked for ABC, I’m an engineer, so I was there doing the Pan Am games. I was there for 30 days working.
RUSH: Oh, I see, you had no choice.
CALLER: I could have gone if I wanted to, I wasn’t that sick.
RUSH: Well, what hotel did you stay at?
CALLER: The Libra — we used to be the Hilton. I forget the name, was the Libra something. Used to be the Hilton hotel.
RUSH: Yeah, the Cuba Libra.
CALLER: Cuba Libra, right. As we are leaving we were pulling out all the cables, our TV compound was right down the street from the hotel. As we left, we had to go into this room and in this room there were dishes that were piled there that must have been there for years, covered with cockroaches.
RUSH: Well, I don’t remember watching the Pan Am games. You said this was in 1991, did you say?
CALLER: Yeah, ’91, it wasn’t very popular —
RUSH: Did ABC film any of this? They’re always doing human interest stories and cultural portrayals for their audience here in America. Did they show any of this that you saw?
CALLER: No, it was basically sports programs.
RUSH: Hey, when you turn on the Olympics, 75% of it is Alberto Tosca trying to hit on Katarina Witt and show us what he’s doing in the night life back in his hometown in Italy while he’s training and so forth. That’s what half the Olympics is.
CALLER: Yeah, they didn’t get the sponsorship I think they wanted. It wound up that they were doing a lot feeds for South American countries and stuff and really didn’t make much air in the US.
RUSH: Oh, okay. Well, the South American countries already know the truth. It would have been great for guys like Charlie Rangel to see it, though. I’m still amazed that people still have to hear the truth about communism. I’m amazed that people still stunned by it when they hear that. Appreciate the call out there, Tom.