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Thread: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

  1. #41
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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Looking for a Lost Pill
    Looking for a Lost Pill | Generation Y

    By Yoani Sanchez

    The piece of paper was left under the door, but he only found it the other day. The list was written in rough handwriting, with spelling that exchanged “R’s” for “L’s” and some “B’s” for “V’s.” But he understood everything. Diazepam continues at 10 pesos for a dozen pills and should be delivered within a day, at least for the next month. Paracetamol is also available, so next to the name of that medicine he put the number two. This time he didn’t need alcohol, but Nystatin cream is a yes so he marked it. His son, restless by nature, could also use some meprobamate so he also wrote down the number for a several week supply. This dealer was reliable, he’d never been cheated, all the medications were good quality and some were even imported. More than once he’d bought the sealed jars that said, “Sale prohibited, free distribution only.”

    The business of medications and other medical supplies is growing every day. A stethoscope on the black market costs the salary of two working days; a Salbutamol spray for asthmatics costs the wages of an entire work day. Given the undersupplied State pharmacies, patients and their families can’t sit around with their arms crossed. A roll of tape costs around 10 pesos in national currency, the same price as a glass thermometer. You can break the law or continue diagnosing fever with a hand to the forehead. The danger, however, comes not only from violating the law. In reality, many customers self-medicate or consume pills that no doctor has prescribed for them. Given the clandestine seller, it’s not necessary to show a prescription and he never questions what the client is going to do with the pills or syrups.

    Despite the successive sweeps against drug smuggling, the phenomenon seems to increase rather than decrease. In the Havana area of Puentes Grandes an old trash bin turned into a pharmaceutical warehouse is the emblem of the government strategies and failures to prevent illicit sales. The police are incapable of eradicating the situation, because the diversion of medications is carried out from grocers, pharmacy technicians, nurses, doctors, even hospital directors. The greatest demands are centered around analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, syringes, cotton and painkiller creams. The illegal drug market also goes along with adulteration and counterfeiting.

    Some small white pills, costing three times their official value, can end the problem, or be the start of others, more serious.
    The Castroit regime has for many years been treating the health care personnel as “exportable commodities.” It is a modern day version of trafficking in human beings, a multi billion dollars form of international crime, a violation of human rights. The regime earns around $6 billion per year exporting professional services, especially doctors, to other countries, more than the $5.6 billion brought by tourism, nickel and remittances together

    There are a total of 76,000 Cuban doctors. According to MINSAP, 40,000 Cuban doctor’s work oversees. From 2003 to 2012, it is estimate that 4,000 physicians left Cuba. This left at 32,000 the numbers of doctors in Cuba. Of those, near 10% quit their profession to work in more lucrative jobs, leaving only 28,800 working in their profession. The regime has acknowledged that there is a shortage of doctors and nurses in Cuba. The vice minister of public health, Joaquín García Salaberría, took the highly unusual step of admitting on Cuban television that there were shortages of doctors and nurses. The World Health statistics 2013, based in the data submitted by the Castroit regime, estimate in 67.2 the number of physicians per 10,000 population. This is equal to one doctor for every 149 people. But the real per capita of practicing doctors in Cuba is one doctor for every 389 people.

  2. #42
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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    One of the most readily apparent problems with the health care system in Cuba is the severe shortage of medicines, equipment, and other supplies. Even the most common pharmaceutical items, such as aspirin and antibiotics are conspicuously absent or only available on the black market, and patients need to provide bed sheets and food during hospital stays.

    This problem is by no means limited to the health sector. Cubans often have tremendous difficulty obtaining basic consumer goods and other necessities, including food.

  3. #43
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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Many treatments we take for granted aren't available at all, except to the Communist elite, foreigners with dollars, and top members of the repressive apparatus and the armed forces. For those, the Castroit regime keeps hospitals equipped with the best medicines and most modern technologies. And, whatever is left, is for the rest of the population, the have not.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    No Pangs of Conscience for Cubans Who ‘Recover’ ‘Invent’ ‘Struggle’ ‘Survive'
    Yoani Sanchez

    By Yoani Sanchez

    She has broken a nail in her agitation. Tomorrow she will have to go back to the manicurist to restore the nail polish and the miniature English flag painted there. His shirt is falling apart in the effort and his whole body is covered in sweat as if someone had thrown a bucket of water over him. No, it's not an erotic scene, it's not love, but lawlessness. A couple under the June sun carrying sand to finish remodeling their kitchen. They've stolen it from a theater that is being remodeled. Lurking until the custodian fell asleep after lunch. Then they filled two bags, which are enough to build a little counter. The little house has been built this way, taking a bit from here and there, hoping for someone to look the other way to carry off some bricks or floor tiles. Their little home has been the result of depredation, of this rapacity that so many Cubans assume towards the resources of the State. Take everything you can, grab anything from this powerful owner... and get it done.

    Among the reasons some buildings take so long to build or repair are not only apathy and lack of efficiency. The theft of cement, steel and other construction materials also slows down many public works. Some are already memorable, where the amount of resources stolen increases the initial costs of the building or restoration by a factor of three. The sinks disappear even before they come off the truck, the paint cans are filled with water to resell the paint on the black market, and there is even a hotel where 36 air conditioners were stolen a few days before its opening. Faced with so many thefts, each object and resource must be closely watched and the watchers watched in turn.

    Many eyes are waiting for a slip-up. In one uncontrolled early morning a mound of gravel was reduced by a third. On some summer vacations, a school without a custodian could lose several windows and the occasional toilet. The light fixtures disappear, the electrical switches are ripped out and the looting extends also to the door handles, the stair railings, and even the ceiling tiles. With no pangs of conscience or guilt complexes on the part of the perpetrators. It's more like the exploited poor taking a piece of the boss's delicious snack when he's distracted looking out the window. It is symptomatic that almost all those who take building materials from State construction projects feel no remorse for doing so. They call it "recovering," "inventing," "struggling," "surviving," When standing in a shower built with stolen tiles, under the running water they think, "you take what they give you and what they don't give you... too."
    Corruption has been a chronic problem for the Castroit tyrannical regime, it institutionalized corruption. As the political power and control of the economy became increasingly concentrated in the hands of the totalitarian ruling class, consumer-good shortages and inefficiencies in resource allocation led to black-market activities.

    After more than five decades of tyrannical rule and with the promise of material prosperity vanished by the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, corruption became prevalence, and more and more Cubans became proficient at trading on the black market whatever they could steal from the regime.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    The inevitable changes toward a more open political regime likely to follow Fidel Castro's eventual death, the regime ruling elite has begun to prepare the ground for a wholesale assault on the country's patrimony to safeguard its own economic well-being.

    The recent appearance of grand-scale corruption among high-ranking political elite is not very different from what was observed in most former communist countries. The level of corruption depends on the degree of monopoly exercised by the regime over the supply of goods and services, the degree of discretion enjoyed by government agencies in making resource-allocation decisions, and the degree of accountability. The regime ownership of productive facilities results in a lack of identifiable ownership and widespread misuse and theft of state resources.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Corruption is widespread, workers steal from the government enterprises where they work, bribing their bosses to get the goods out of the workplace and resell them in the black market.

    There is a high degree of corruption, fraud and public use of funds by the party apparatchiks. Managers of state enterprises divert good to sell on the black market. In June 2011, fifteen top executives of Cubana de Aviación were sentenced to prison for fraud. In April the vice president of Habanos S.A. and 10 others employees were under arrest for selling cigars illegally to foreign distributors. Pedro Alvarez, former head of Alimport, under investigation for corruption, escaped from the island in late December 2010. In August 2012, three vice-ministers and another nine state official of the Moa nickel plant were sentenced to prison in corruption scandals.

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    Re: Cuba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    The Castroit state-run monopolies, cronyism, and absence of responsibility have made the island one of the world's most corrupt nations. This type of corruption where favors are provided to the political elite, has permeated all levels of the ruling class, the “new class” according to Milovan Djilas definition. He delineated the “new class” of rulers as "those who have special privileges and economic preferences because of the administrative monopoly they hold." This “new class” that ferociously protects its privileges and status, is suspicious of those actions that could weaken its power. The ruling class will defend it to the end.

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    Re: C. Corruption under the Castroit reguba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Corruption under the Castroit regime is a logical consequence of its economical structure. Under Cuba's current military regime it is not possible to eradicate corruption. In order to eradicate corruption in Cuba, it is necessary to first end the totalitarian rule of the regime. It is difficult to predict the future, but I am confident that Cuba will evolve toward a democracy with a market-oriented economy, probably with an important role for the state in social sectors such as health and education.

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    Re: C. Corruption under the Castroit reguba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    The regime doesn’t pay enough because it claim workers are not very productive. Those workers who are pay little steal from the government what is necessary for them to survive. Since the means of production “belongs to the people”, they are not stealing from themselves, they are stealing from the “Tyrannosaurus reserves.”

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    Re: C. Corruption under the Castroit reguba’s bloggers are as sharp abroad as at home

    Those which are producing less because the job of 2 is made by 3, are been lay off. The so call “revolutionary” are left on the job and the “productive” end up without work. Is that the regime solution to the problem? For sure that will create even a bigger problem.

    Private Property will solve the problem, since people will not steal from themselves. People will be making more money and also will be interested on the good outcome of their business. They will work because they need and want to, not because the regime commands them. That is the main problem with the Castroit regime.

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