Cuba Discovers a New Source of Revenue

By Circles Robinson


HAVANA TIMES – Tourism, family remittances and retail sales are down, all negatively affecting government coffers in Cuba. However, the Communist Party leadership has found a new source of funds to help keep its wheels turning: Fines.

Yes, you read that right, Fines. These levied against citizens failing to obey lockdown orders or not wearing a mask in public. Likewise, from any type of illegal producing, buying and/or selling business activity.

The government does not usually practice any type of transparency regarding budgets, revenues, or expenditures. The justification is to not give ammunition to “the enemy”. However, the success of the fines is loudly publicized.

It’s big time, and on the TV news and Mesa Redonda roundtable program every evening.

The latest report of the government’s new revenue source came Friday on the Party’s Cubadebate website. 

A total of 4,788 persons fined 2,000 pesos (three months wages on the average) for not wearing a mask or wearing it incorrectly.  Revenue: 9,576,000 pesos (US $399,000).

Fines for violating curfew, drinking in public, and food establishments serving after the stipulated hours or not meeting the health standards brought in a total of 1,031,000 pesos (US $42,958)

At the same time, the government reports having recently processed 4,748 persons for a host of violations. Of the first 1,004 trials, 99.1 percent (995) of the accused were found guilty and 655 imprisoned, others received fines.

The crimes prosecuted include illicit economic activity, hoarding, speculation, currency exchanging, receiving stolen goods, disobedience, and “other” violations.

One of our readers asked: “Now that they are giving hard data on revenue from fines, when are they going to publish other financial information?”

Read more news and commentary from Cuba here.

24 thoughts on “Cuba Discovers a New Source of Revenue

  • People are always ready to criticize the “Communist” regime in Cuba. But here in Canada, fines are levied every day against people who are violating the guidelines whether it is not wearing a mask, or even coming into the country from another country without self isolating. Also, in certain situations you can be tossed in jail for not complying. OH, then we have our own CDR’s here – unofficial for sure – that is neighbours watching what their neighbours are doing and reporting them to the police if they think their neighbours are not complying. As for me personally, I came from one province in Canada to another and had to self isolate when I got to my home in Nova Scotia – and I was phoned everyday for two weeks by the government to make sure I was here. So, friends, lay off the “communists” and take a look in your own back yard.

  • Fines to balance the budget? In CUP? Your perspective is laughable…

  • I’m a Venezuelan and Cuban & Native American and I still have Family in La Havana y El Santiago, Alabama and Some parts of P.R. thanx to Nazi Sympathisers like Donald Trump you cant even help your own fam and as far as Communism goes if we Really gave a Fuck then we as Americans should’ve held up our end of the stick instead of trading It Up for Puertorico, isla Mona and Guam Same peoples of P.R. btw Which we shouldve kept Cuba Along with P.R. and D.R. Considering The State of Alabama and Cities of (Cuba, Havana,
    Saint Claire/Santa Clara, Saint James/Santiago) Is to this Day Part of Havana, Santa Clara, Santiago Cuba!.
    So why have we not gone their with our Money and thrown Putin out to the Caribbean sea And pay these Poor Tobacco farmers and harvestars, Sugar Caine farmers and harvestars, Cocao farmers like they are Farmers in Oklahoma Texas New Mexico whatever. But as Americans we collectivly have Fucked over Americans just to kiss White European Slavic Asses When the Poles, Germans and Russians are not The immigrants this Country was built on! So again im deeply Sorry my peoples are starving in Cuba and Venezuela so I barely eat my choice, but from a human standpoint why has El Mr. Presidente Ruíz Not Looked for other ways then Communism it’s old and outdated and from an Américan standpoint Cuba Is still an audience here in North America Puertoricans just became American less then 130 years ago.
    Why Is it ok to speak Slavic languages here but Spanish Is evil And so Is Native American languages according to people like Trump AND other White European people

  • As a lover of Cuba the country and Cubans the people, I have to refute the misinformation of “tyo”. To claim that “Cuba is so free” when Cubans are daily subjected to the repression of a totalitarian state, with the MININT goons roaming the streets to ensure conformity and the CDR represented on every block of every village, town and city in the country displays deliberate promotion of deceit.
    “tyo” as an obvious sycophant of the Stalinist interpretation of Marx/Engels/Lenin, has the conceit to label himself as one of “the smart people”. Evidence not of intelligence, but of ignorance.
    The article although brief, is factual, providing statistics which illustrate the repression introduced by Fidel Castro and avidly pursued by the current dictator, little brother Raul.

  • Cubans are nice. I was there in February of this year, visit their homeland and felt really, really bad watching how they live. Reading some of the comments here make me very sad. They do deseve much more, they deserve to live a decent life.
    My deep respect to them.

  • Kris, I respectfully would like to point out that a person’s perspective varies depending on their experience. I will not make a judgement regarding your understanding or where your perspective comes from. What I know personally is people are struggling, going hungry. What they “get” is at a low cost but is a ration that is not nearly enough to last until the next ration. We need to be careful what we wish for and admire if we have not seen and experienced it up close.
    Regarding fines, a close friend was fined for taking a picture of his children passing the time while waiting hours in line hoping to buy a little food. It was just a picture of his children having fun passing the time. He is a person of high character and integrity. The other people around him told the officer they observed him taking the picture of his family, not taking one to show the long line. He was made to delete the picture and made to pay a fine. He was told a new rule had just been put into place. No pictures that show the line. Why?
    No warning to let him know of the new rule. An immediate fine.
    If you were standing in the hot sun for four hours waiting to try to get into a store to buy food, would it be ok for you to lift your mask to take a drink of water? Someone did that there and was arrested and fined even though everyone around him told the officer they observed he had his mask on the whole time and only lifted it up to take a drink.
    This is the way it is. Like it or not. It is truth.

  • B.S. Comments? Basics of life? Kris you are ill-informed or really haven’t seen Cuban life or pain.. Children without shoes or families without food.. Now you will be the first in line to put it on the U.S. they have had all the world as trading partners over the past 60 years but mismanagement and greed has caused pain and hardship for all except the chosen few in Cuba.. Have you ever visited a hospital for Cubans? How about natural resources? Cuba being number 2 of the nickel producers on this planet and having billions of barrels of oil off their coasts as well as control of all commerce, cell phones and alcohol products.. Yet the people starve..

  • Kris, you obviously have no idea how things work there. Do not comment if you do not know. Nothing is “free”; the dictatorship has been saying health and education are free for the past 60 yrs but it is a big lie. The Cubans have been paying and are still paying their “free” education and health. Lol. No one or no gvmt is nice enough to give health & education for free for 61 yrs lol. Wake up. In my opinion, you are either clueless or you re an ally of the dictatorship or you re just brainwashed. Communism DOES not work. The country is a DISASTER economically, politically and socially.

  • this is hilarious all the Cuban haters comment on here because Fidel freed the Cuban people and the old rich Cubans lost their 500 farms and 20000 workers. Cuba is so free and has never been so free. You might be able to trick naive people with your bs. But smart people will alwayd investigate and know the truth. Sure Cuba has problems but they are so small compared to the rest of the world. Cuba has been so much safer since the cuban exiles (americans) stopped terrorist attacks in Cuba. The fines are for people who make 1000s of dollars… these black market people go to a store and buy all the soap in one town for 0.50 each they then sell it for $4 each without a vendors permit. Obviously they will get charged a lot. They deserve to be charged more. These are bad people… so this article is pretty useless. And saying a few measely dollars will help Cuba is so dumb. Especially when the Cuban Peso cannot be used to buy anything internationally. Therefore the fines dont help the economy in cubas case. If the fines were paid in US dollars that would be a different story.

  • Reminds me of the Canadian Seat Belt Laws when they first came out or the No Cell when Driving. The Face Patch Saves Other Lives YES & if you do not like it, Well I would say wash there mouth out with Soap or Hand Sanitizer if we had it & the next best thing is a Fine of 3 months wages, That is Harsh & then again How Many Lives are Saved With The Patch if we all just Think of Others First. Yes it Dose come down to Money your Tax $$ for Health Care, Think about that, How Many Years we are going to be Paying & our Children will be Paying Next for that Cheap Face Mask Today. As we Say in The North: Give A LIFE & Wake UP

  • I hate when people comment on Cuba and fairly obviously have never been there. They are very serious about covid19 and all the fines are related to that and the black market which has doubled its prices in recent months. Cuba’s biggest income is tourism. No tourists no money. No money no imports. Until they can eradicate covid they cannot reopen the border to tourism. This is their number one priority. Inane comments by ill informed people help no one !

  • OMG Cuban government turned capitalist !! Just like traffic cops in many other countries (developed ones as well) gave out tickets for fine to meet the “daily quota” I heard those are indeed great sources of income for the governments.

  • Tiempos muy duros en Cuba, palabras no tengo para describirlo o si hacemos lista de lo que hace falta. Pero aun asi la gente sigue luchando, se ayudan entre vecinos y familias, aun asi estan protegidos y los niños caminan , juegan y van a las escuelas sin miedo ,los padres si es verdad pasan mucho estrés pero no saben la bendición que tienen de vivir en Cuba sin tener que enfrentarse a los peligros diarios que hay en los demas paises. Que pronto se abran los caminos y la Isla se reviva y la economia progrese pero que al pueblo se le trate con más respeto, el pueblo es el corazon del País .

  • .. you know ” CIA ” Times ?
    When you are printing DIRTY PROPAGANDA about “CIA free ” Cuba , you are supposed to support your claims with TRUE evidences !

    You are telling the intelligent and NAÏVE readers that remittances and retail sales..ARE DOWN ??? For the sake of OUR USELESS(!) CONVERSATION : I’ll agree with you !

    But YOU failed to give us numbers, or amounts in US $, or even a FAKED % OF : HOW MUCH DOWN ???

    Then here comes your BLUFFING claim : EQUATING “FINES” revenue..with what have been lost ???
    For example, I know that in the city of Montreal -where I live- FINES REPRESENTS a meager % of levied taxes, even in the DECADENT CAPITALISTIC system we live in ( without detailing the ACCOMPANYING social miseries, I am sure you notice in your “Orange state” ?) ?

    So.. HOW about POOR BESIEGED Cuba ??? Can they afford HEAVY FINES ?
    Besides ? FINES are for those who break the law of any kind ! Especially in case of covid-19 PANDEMIC !
    Starting yesterday Saturday the 12th, here in Quebec, you can BE FIND UP TO $ 6000 DOLLARS, if you’re not wearing a mask or not social distancing 2 meters or more, with order from our FILTHY RICH $$$ premiere, to be tough with Quebeckers !
    That, of course, does NOT attract your attention !!!

    And may Cuba stayes SITTING on the NOSE of your employer..the Yanayted States of AMMERIKA !?

    For YOU specialise in CUBAN affairs ???

  • Kris very obviously, has but a casual knowledge of Cuba and has swallowed the propaganda of the Communist Party of Cuba. There is no need to go to the US to find police “attacking their own peaceful people walking in the streets”. In Cuba, that is the purpose of the MININT goons operating under the control of the KGB trained Alejandro Castro Espin, the son of dictator Raul Castro. Difference of skin colour alone is sufficient reason.
    Kris is correct, in Cuba people are treated horribly, That is because individuality is unacceptable to a regime intent upon creating the malleable “mass” so beloved by the Stalinist Castros. He is incorrect in suggesting that the basics of life in Cuba are “free” It took all my mother-in-law’s monthly pension of 200 pesos ($8 US) to pay for her permuta. Regarding people in the US “fighting over toilet paper” – where is the toilet paper available in Cuba?
    How many tourists in Havana when not accompanied by an official guide, have not been approached by beggars – with the opening question: “Where are you from?”
    Next time Kris, address reality!

  • In Cuba nothing is free, the food that they give you for free is of the lowest quality and at a cost of your freedom and jobs that pay slaves wages. The hospital and public health is the worse among third world countries, people die of medical malpractice, ask about the famous singer Yomil who died after receiving the wrong dosis of medication. Education is free but used to brainwash young children and young adults to accept a reality that is all a lie and false reality.

  • In Canada we think and care about others. Remember, a mask protects others from your saliva. Our approach and concern for others seem to be working. Take a look at our Covid numbers. Take care of yourself and take care of each other.

  • Kris, this site centers on Cuba, Nicaragua and other Latin American news. Although many of our readers live in the United States we only cover occasional events there. And as to the figures in the article they were published by the Cuban government on their Cubadebate website. We included the link with the article if you wish to have a look. One more thing “get the basics of life for free” is a highly debateable topic. I have found in life that when some government or business tells me they are giving me something for free that “free” has a catch to it. It IS being paid for somewhere in the first and in the second, there is a commercial motive at play.

  • You all just like to bash Cuba’s government with negative comments on anything & nothing… you act like the people are treated horribly… they get the basics of life for free… for free… in other countries you are begging in the streets… where did you get those bs numbers… people who behave badly in any society should have consequences… why not report about the USA attacking their own peaceful people walking in the street… attacked by their military told by Trump…with guns & gas protesting for for police brutality…. really find the positive that they are actually feeding the country still with no tourism… with no guns… in the USA they were fighting over toilet paper…

  • I wish they had a law in the US that will automatically fine people for not wearing masks in public. Any subsequent offences, they should make them stay a few nights in jail. At least with the very strict rules Cuba had regarding masks, they have kept the Covid 19 deaths and cases very well, compared with othet countries, including the US

  • Pathetic extortion in Cuba .

  • Eric, are you saying that things are worse in the USA so Cubans should be happy with what they’ve got?

  • US land management agencies have started charging “fees” for accessing public lands. If you don’t have the permit in your car you get “fined”, I got one parking at a remote trailhead, the fine was $99 dollars, now if I had parked in the city, the fine would have been $25 dollars. Not sure why the fine for parking waaaaay out in the boondocks is so high.

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