Cuba: Sugar Blues

The scene is a sunbathed sugar-cane field 18 miles south of Camagüey. The Prime Minister of the republic is wearing fatigue pants, gloves, a sweaty, long-sleeved shirt and a sloppy sombrero. He is perspiring copiously and his beard is dripping. He slashes right and left at the stalks with a shiny machete as a Cuban radio reporter approaches with microphone in hand:

Chop, chop. Thwack. Zing. Chonk.

Fidel Castro: "The ground's a little wet today, eh?" Puff, puff. "I have a new cutting technique." Whack. Zing. Chonk. "First the lower part and then the upper part." Chop. Chonk.

Interviewer: "Do you think...