By Circles Robinson

Photo: adncuba.com

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

  • 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.

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