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If They’re Serious About Saving / Fernando Damaso

If They're Serious About Saving / Fernando Damaso

Posted on April 2, 2013

The country's leading authorities continually talk about the need to

save resources and use the limited ones that are available for important

issues, to support development and help in solving the many existing

problems and overcoming the shortages. Undoubtedly, it is a fair demand,

but it would be even more so, if they looked within themselves, and

decided to save on those government activities that represent large

expenditures and provide no wealth.

I am referring to the high subsidies enjoyed by the so-called mass

organizations (CDR, FMC, CTC, ANAP, FEU, FEEM and others)*, institutions

that present themselves as NGOs, but are, in fact, far from it; they are

organized, directed and primarily funded by the State and solidarity

groups abroad and while visiting Cuba; in addition there are some

political campaigns, including that for "The Five**" (with the current

adaptation of a mansion in El Vedado*** for its headquarters), payment

of attorneys and multiple trips around the world for their families.

If they reduced the inflated payrolls of professional staff of these

organizations, groups and campaigns, we would see a substantial savings

in salaries, travel and maintenance, along with the great amount of free

transport, housing and locales (usually the best), in municipalities as

well as and in the provinces, helping to increase the housing stock to

the public.

These measures don't need commissions nor long studies and experiments

for their implementation, as the sad reality already one of general

control. If these savings also include major political organizations and

some super-ministries, which enjoy carte blanche to own vehicles of all

types, buildings, homes and locales (often underutilized), the results

would be even greater and would be approved by the majority of citizens.

That is, if you really want to save, there is enough fabric available to

cut within the State, without trying to apply them only to ordinary

Cubans, demanding greater sacrifices.

Translator's notes:

*All of these organizations are arms of the government: CDR =Committees

for the Defense of the Revolution (the block watch groups); FMC =

Federation of Cuban Women; CTC = Cuban Workers Union; ANAP = National

Association of Small Farmers ; FEU = Federation of University Students;

FEEM = Federation of High School Students.

**"The Five" refers to five Cubans found guilty of spying in the United

States. Four of the five remain in prison. The Cuban government

presents them as national heroes unjustly convicted.

***El Vedado is one of the nicer neighborhoods in Havana.

30 March 2013

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