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?”