By Pedro Pablo Morejon

Outside an office in my community of Pinar del Rio.

HAVANA TIMES – Excessive bureaucracy is a disease caused by Cuba’s control oriented system. The frustration and inefficiency it decrys are the collateral damage facing the island’s population.

As a legal adviser for a state company, I must go to different government institutions to get paperwork. This could be from a court, attorney general’s office, commercial or property register office. Likewise, the local housing board, physical planning office and a long etc.

It was the local Physical Planning office that I had to go to recently. I needed to get a certificate of measurements and boundaries of some properties belonging to the company I represent. I am currently in the process of registering those at the Property Registration office.

When I arrived, I saw the same thing I always do. A long line under the summer morning sun, waiting for their far-off turn to get some personal documents. That could be anything from a simple ruling to a permit.

Doing paperwork in Cuba is punishment for citizens

People were crowded around the building. A fence separated them from the building, until they were allowed in to the waiting room. This was also packed with other people waiting to be seen.

A woman said that she had spent months trying to get her paperwork, just like an elderly man also said.

“You come here and they tell you to come back on such and such a day and that day they weren’t there.”

“And they tell you this with a smile,” another woman said.

You might have thought that applications and processes would have slowed down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s true that ever since lockdown began in March up until Pinar del Rio province entered the third phase of recovery (a triumphant understatement when we thought that we had beat the new coronavirus), services had been limited quite a bit, but I have seen this scene play out for years.

Hurdles, going back and forth, delays in much-needed paperwork. They might be getting a license to a permit to build a house to a simple deed that needs updating. All of this despite more flexible regulations adopted in recent years on these matters.

But they aren’t enough. All the regulations that require cumbersome paperwork in Cuba are designed to control the lives of every single Cuban. That includes even those who live abroad.

As long as we have socialist totalitarianism, these frustrating evils will thrive and endure, the result of excessive bureaucracy.

Evils that people in the United States might call “collateral damage”.

Read more from Pedro Pablo Morejon

Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

8 thoughts on “Cuban Citizens are Just Collateral Damage

  • Perhaps I’ll begin, Carlyle, by pointing out to you the difference between opinion and fact. It is not ‘my opinion’ that the Canadian government is looking at possibly providing a guaranteed basic income to its population. It would be a fact. Perhaps your asian linguistics professor emeritus could explain in more depth, the difference between fact and opinion. You seem to confuse the two in your diatribe. This would be in addition to a Universal Health Care system, already the envy of many countries, except of course, the poor U.S., who can’t even seem to get a firm grip on the concept of pre-existing conditions in an individual’s health. That people are born with differing genetics is their own damn fault, right carlyle?! Forget the mountains of paperwork each insurance company requires from health care providers in the ‘wonderful’ capitalist system. It is this one efficiency that frees up most of the monetary resources for Canada to provide the universal care.

    Spoken like a true kool aid soaked capitalist, Carlyle refers to social safety nets as free money. Entitlements, like food for example, is a terrible drain on the most wealth country in human civilization. No, Carlyle. It is what wealthy countries do to elevate those less fortunate to a position where they can now compete in the capitalist’s game. Even poor countries, like Cuba, attempt to provide these basic needs. Structured poverty is what you seem to profess. But, like a true sociologist, I realize that perpetual, cyclical poverty is a major contributor to crime. Another fun added expense to a burdened lower/middle class, while the wealthy reside in security riddled gated communities.

    Perhaps, Carlyle, you should find some ‘facts’ upon which to base your shallow opinions on.

  • Again Eric, try to tie your comments into Cuba. Are you saying that bureaucracy is so bad in the US that Cubans shouldn’t complain about theirs?

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