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Cuba: Fidel accused of being like Big Brother

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  • michael walker
    The article s author seems rather surprised by the idea the the State should control the use of its vehicles and expect its workers to be economical and honest
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2005
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      The article's author seems rather surprised by the
      idea the the State should control the use of its
      vehicles and expect its workers to be economical and
      honest in their use. The British Inland Revenue
      Service has long since put a tax on the private use of
      company cars and it's collected whether or not the
      worker uses the company's car for private purposes.
      Cubans don't pay tax and in using state vehicles have
      been among the purchasers of stolen fuel, sometimes
      filling their tanks with fuel that's incompletely
      refined thus contributing to ambiental pollution as
      well as being accomplices to theft. I would argue that
      it should be considered admirable to use
      state-of-the-art- technology, not unlike that used by
      giant Western agribusinesses to make the most
      efficient use of their farm vehicles making the
      process fully automatic, and in doing so putting
      hundreds, maybe thousands, of farm vehicle drivers out
      of work, something not even contemplated by the Cuban
      Government.
      =========================================================
      "Big brother" - Cuban style
      Castro to put GPS devices in state vehicles to save
      petrol (gas)
      MAURICIO VICENT - La Habana
      EL PAÍS - Última - 26-12-2005

      The system will check that the driver doesn't go off
      route or take the car home. We aren't in 1984 but in
      the last days of 2005 but it's the same "Big Brother
      is watching you"; this was the comment, half
      serious,half in jest, of a university professor after
      watching the televised speech of Fidel Castro in
      Parliament. The Cuban President had just announced the
      unheard of initiative in the waste and theft of fuel
      from the State: installing in every State-owned lorry
      and tractor that moves in the island a Global
      Positioning System locator (GPS) to control the
      movements of each driver to avoid deviations from his
      route or to take the car home.

      Castro spoke in Parliament about the current campaign
      being waged against corruption and theft. He referred
      to the experiment carried out for a little over a
      month, in the country's 2,000 petrol stations placing
      them under the control of 11,000 young social workers.
      Under his orders, these adolescents, formed as a shock
      force of the revolution, took charge not only of the
      sale of fuel in service centres but also of the the
      supervision of the refineries and the distribution
      work linked to the petrol tankers, to put a stop to
      ronbberies in this sector.

      The results couldn't have been more revealing: since
      the social workers have been placed in the petrol
      stations, they have collected six times as much money
      than before in Santiago de Cuba, three times as much
      in Villa Clara and Las Tunas and twice as much in the
      capital's 250 petrol stations. Over all, a "saving" of
      hundreds of millions of dollars. According to Castro,
      just in what he refers to as the energy chapter the
      country can recirculate 1,000 million (US - 1 billion)
      dollars with the adoption of measures against theft
      and waste.
      To give practical examples the leader called on one of
      his collaborators, Young Communists Union
      member,Enrique Gómez, director of the social workers
      who, to more than 500 deputies, explained that with a
      GPS device installed in various Government vehicles as
      a test , it's been calculated tat 20%$ of the fuel is
      used in journeys that have nothing to do with the job
      in hand. Including going to see the girlfriend or
      visit the family.

      Gomez related as a detail, that locating a tractor it
      could be shown that it had turned around in the furrow
      of a sown field. It was known how many stops a bus
      driver made and found out that a fishing boat, in
      which a device was installed as part of the
      experiment, caught fish outside of its appointed zone
      to sell them later privately in Isla de la Juventud.

      Castro was emphatic: all these little games had to
      finish. He was asked how much it would cost to install
      30 thousand, 40 thousand, 50 thousand of these
      devices? The Leader of the Revolution did the sums: he
      said that it would cost a lot it would more than pay
      for itself and he even calculated how many tonnes of
      nickel would be needed to finance this control of the
      state automotive fleet.

      But the campaign for the control and saving of energy
      isn't limited to fuel and transport. The Cuban
      President informed Parliament that already there has
      been distributed several million low-energy use light
      bulbs. Since several weeks back, thousands of social
      workers have gone from household to household
      changing, them without any cost, for the old
      incandescent type. And the plans to withdraw from use,
      refrigerators, and other high consumption electrical
      domestic equipment, goes on apace.

      http://www.elpais.com/internacional/latam.html



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