Cuba Has Government Sponsored Clowns To Keep The Masses Entertained

December 2, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Cubans clown around, wrote The Economist:

  • In the 1970s the late Fidel Castro rounded up some clowns from the Soviet Union and launched the National School of Circus.
  • While it originally featured a full circus complete with animals, economic hardship meant that soon it was composed almost entirely of clowns. It is, the government reasoned, easier to feed a clown than a lion.
  • The clowns are on the payroll of the ministry of culture, earning about $30 a month, and are meant to bring entertainment to the masses.
  • A nascent economic liberalization means that private sector clowns are now able to compete with government ones. But liberalization has only gone so far – with no clown nose or floppy shoe imports, Cubans entrepreneurs have to ask friends to bring them from abroad.
  • The government clowns feel their private sector counterparts are amateurs and aren’t happy about the competition.

Read more on The Economist