Cuba, just like many other communist countries did not subscribe Western ideologies especially after Fidel Castro came into power and subscribed to communism. The country and its people have not in the past welcomed nontraditional tendencies such as same sex marriages and relationships. The hawk-eyed leadership is keen on anything and everything that goes on within the boundaries of Cuba. The movie Strawberry and Chocolate by Gutierrez Alea shows how much freedom was lacking slowly but surely dawning on this communist nation. To have a man who is gay and one who behaves and acts as one before a stranger may be a risky affair but then that is one way of showing that Cuba was opening up and allowing western mannerisms within it. By the time, the movie debut in 1979 one may not have expected less than have the revolution leaders have a tight grip on society, but the presence of Diego proves the revolution otherwise. Diego then passes for the symbol of freedom that Cubans need. The motif of gay and going against the social garment is depicted as the one thing that is lacking in Cuba at the beginning, but one that sets in and settles there as the movie comes to an end.
David took his girlfriend Vivian to a cheap hotel that she blatantly rejects. The motel has holes on the walls perhaps to signify how much the government had entrenched itself even in the most unlikely places in order to watch all that happened in the country. The state of vigilance in the country does not give room for anything to happen in the dark or away from the prying eyes of the government (Cardoso & Helwege 48). It is for that reason that people like Diego cannot remain unknown to the rest of the public. David attempts to spy on him and apparently there is nothing that will forever remain a secret. The government remains in control and even wants to control the thoughts of the ordinary citizens. The government has perforated through every aspect of life and is able to monitor and dictate to the people about what to do and what not to do.
Cuba may have rejected capitalism in favor for communism because Fidel Castro and the government machinery thought that capitalism is oppressive as compared to communism. But then there seems not to be the availability of resources that the citizens can be proud of going to the room where David takes Vivian. Besides, Diego’s apartment does not show a rich fellow either. It is funny that David promises Vivian that they will consummate their love in a five-star hotel in the future. The rest of the Cubans are also waiting for a time when the promises of the regime will be fulfilled (Sweig 117). Not that with communism they are as rich! Otherwise, David could have also taken Vivian to a five-star hotel as of the time he is taking her to a cheap motel.
Cubans must have welcomed the revolution because they thought the situation could have been different from the Batista regime. But things have not changed as much because most of them still languish in poverty. The oppressed minority seen through Diego and German are just a representative of the majority who are also languishing in poverty. Not so much has changed from the era of the revolution. Lack of freedom and the rule imposed on the country has been the source of it not developing. The situation has not changed much from what it used to be in the past, and as long as the country is under dictatorship the citizens are not left with so much option but to comply.
Cardoso, Eliana A. & Helwege, Ann. Cuba After Communism. New York: The MIT Press, 1992. Print
Sweig, Julia E. Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York: OUP, 2009. Print