“The Prices In The All Stores Are Fined” /Jorge Olivera Castillo
Posted on November 24, 2013
Havana, Cuba, November, www.cubanet.org — The details of the corrupt
practices detected in the Carlos III Complex of stores and in a
municipal entity in the business of community services reinforce
opinions about the incapacity of the government to stop a phenomenon
that has metastasized in Cuban society.
As on previous occasions, people have counted on documentary proof of
the facts, recorded on flash drives that are distributed furtively from
hand to hand. One never knows who is the initial provider, but
presumably it is a premeditated act in the Ministry of the Interior. The
lack of official information is compensated for by the traffic in
copies, rented or sold, to a clientele eager to find out the identity of
the guilty parties and their schemes to enrich themselves.
Both cases, occurrences in Havana, again reliably demonstrate the
infeasibility of economic centralization. In most state enterprises. a
lack of administrative control still prevails, which facilitates the
growth of corruption in all its forms.
The efforts by the General Controller of the Republic to put a stop to
it are worth nothing. Few wind up in prison. The rest contrive to
continue their dirty shenanigans which include embezzlement, extortion
“Prices in all the stores are ’fined.’ Besides being already inflated by
order of the enterprise that provides the merchandise, extra is added
that is later shared between the management, the financially
responsible, and the employees,” a store clerk explained to me on
condition of anonymity.
“Our salary is a pittance. If we don’t do this, it would be like working
for free. It’s true that we steal from the customer, but those are the
rules of the game. This is every man for himself,” he added.
In the conversation I found out that the managers make off with the
greater part of the illegal revenues. In some cases their earnings
exceed 300 convertible pesos a day. Such dividends represent a fortune
in a country where the average salary is less then one convertible peso
Among the beneficiaries of these illegalities must also be mentioned the
hundreds of former counter-intelligence officials. Not a few are listed
on the security payrolls of each shopping center, others work as
inspectors of those who have to deliver part of the booty. Refusing to
do it is the shortest path to jail.
In the end, everything functions without setbacks. They only have to
comply with the established codes. From time to time, the general
controller, Gladys Bejerano, in order not to completely lose her
credibility, decides to put an end to some of the corruption. It is like
putting your hand in a drum with your eyes closed. You will always
extract a corrupt person, but at a low level, since the big ones are
Jorge Olivera Castillo
Cubanet, November 20, 2013
Translated by mlk
Source: ““The Prices In The All Stores Are Fined” /Jorge Olivera
Castillo | Translating Cuba” –