Marvelous! Invasive amphibious catfish destroying Cuba’s ecosystem, but government promises it will feed everyone in the socialist island paradise


From our Bureau of Daffy Solutions to Food Shortages in Socialist Utopias and our Bureau of Appropriately Amusing Lunchtime Fare

Forget those ostriches, rodents, and crocodiles promoted by 91-year-old Communist Party honcho General Guillermo García Frías, who was so viciously ridiculed on social media for his bright idea.

A few years ago, around 1999-2000, some genius in Castrogonia decided that the solution to hunger in Cuba was catfish farms.

The only problem is that the catfish species in question –Claria– was non-native and that due to the way in which socialist utopias manage to screw up everything, the imported Claria, who can walk on land, have left their enclosures and become a threat to the island’s ecosystem, gobbling up native species in and out of the water.

Oh, but never mind all that bad stuff. The Castronoids at the Ministry of Truth have produced a promotional cartoon that should convince all Cubans that this Claria catfish is an ecological superhero who not only does away with unwanted species, but also recycles garbage.

It’s absolutely perfect, this Super-Claria, just like everything else dreamed up by “The Revolution.”

This is all for real. It seems to bizarre to be true, but, then, again, we’re dealing with Castrogonia, a place on earth that might as well be another dimension, weirder than any ever dreamed up in science fiction.

Gee whiz, Mildred, does this sound familiar, doesn’t it?. Could it be that the late Maximum Leader might have been the genius who came up with this solution… as well as the cartoon?


Cuba Hopes A Catfish Will Solve Its Food Crisis. But Is It Wrecking The Island’s Eco-System?

During heavy rains last year in a small town outside Havana, people saw something remarkable. Large freshwater catfish called claria were swimming in the flooded streets. In a video posted on YouTube, excited locals splash out to grab them.

But that happy scene was also an environmental alert. Claria are an invasive species in Cuba. They’re supposed to be confined to aquaculture fisheries, where they’re bred for food. Outside those farms – as these claria obviously were – they’re notorious for devouring anything in their paths.

“If claria gets released outside their controlled conditions they can be a serious problem,” said María Araujo, a marine biologist with Cuba’s Science, Technology and Environment Ministry.

Still, speaking by phone from Cienfuegos, a Cuba fisheries center where a lot of claria are grown, Araujo was also adamant about this:
“At this moment,” she said, “claria is not a threat to the environment in Cuba. It is under control.”

That’s at least the message Cuba’s communist government wants out there right now. It insists the claria are better contained in their tanks today and that there’s no danger of them escaping again.

Why the earnest talking points? Cuba is facing a growing food shortage. That’s forced the regime to ramp up production of claria as a crucial protein supplement. Officials recently said sausages like chorizo will be made with claria instead of pork – which is scarce right now.

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And you thought pythons were bad…

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