Transport in Cuba
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Is Disorganization Institutionalized in Our Society, or Is Our Society Institutionalized Disorganization?

Is Disorganization Institutionalized in Our Society, or Is Our Society

Institutionalized Disorganization? / Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo

Chavez Rodriguez

Cuban Law Association, Rodrigo Chavez Rodriguez, Translator: Maria Montoto

Rodrigo Ch?vez Rodr?guez, Esq.

For Cubans today it no longer seems strange, much less unusual. A lack

of punctuality affects any number of activities, whether they be in the

workplace, the classroom or at celebrations. There is always some

excuse. The bus did not come; they turned off the lights when I was

having visitors; the water shut off when I went to take a bath; etc.

Although there might be valid justifications, they are daily occurrences

that have become persistent issues, and are now one in the same.

The critical moment occurs when we try unsuccessfully to find out why

from the agencies responsible for transportation, electricity, water, or

whatever it might be. The responses from each one of them to the problem

at hand are no more than mere excuses.

As a general rule the problems of transportation, electricity, water, or

anything else are always blamed on the fifty-year-old unbending and

illegal blockade. However, the vast majority of problems we face on a

daily basis are rooted in the lack of organization prevalent in all

spheres of activity.

Aside from the lack of replacement parts and accessories necessary to

achieve the optimum benefit from parking spaces, there is no adequate

plan for their use in response to the interests and needs of the

populace. One could ask: Wouldn't it be possible to contract post-market

services abroad?

Under the current conditions, the acquisition of the means of

transportation is carried out through "friendly" countries, which

provide us with easy credit. Is it not possible to carry out a serious

and thorough study that would allow for the orderly planning of bus

schedules that takes into account customer demand?

After all these years have there been no graduates in engineering who

specialize in transportation management? How is it possible that private

transport providers can satisfy the needs of the populace with

punctuality but those of the state cannot? Why do the famous

reinforcements appear as if by magic? And then there is air and rail

transport. It is nothing less than a miracle if arrivals and departures

occur on schedule. No doubt there are justifications for these too.

If all planning undertaken in "time of war" carries over into "time of

peace, then we can be sure that disorganization will be permanently


There are always justifications for the lack of power, electricity or

water supply. They have now become common. While we are informed about

disruptions, breakdowns, maintenance and other issues, it is undeniable

that these almost always occur when we least expect them. In other words

not at opportune times or on schedule. Nothing, or almost nothing, is

well-planned or well-organized.

These are only a few examples of how organized the disorganization is,

how institutionalized it is. One could broaden the scope and look at

other recurring problems such as academic courses, the distribution of

medications and other issues that would make up an endless and tiresome


At the start of every academic course, there are assurances that

"everything is planned and very well-organized." As the course proceeds,

however, there are shortages of certain things. It could be fuel, it

could be the basic course materials, it could be various sorts of input,


The issue of medications and their distribution is, in large part, an

irrefutable example of the institutionalization of disorganization,

especially of those items distributed through the well-known "ration

card." In other words, medications that are controlled. An exhaustive

system of control has been set up to register individuals, yet when

these same individuals go to a pharmacy to obtain their supposedly

controlled medications, they find they are no longer available.

Maintenance of the distribution systems for electrical energy and water

require planning. How unlike our own reality! When there are problems

due to maintenance, disruptions or breakdowns, this implies that service

is not available and, therefore, is not being used. But – wonder of

wonders! – although charges are based on kilowatts per hour, we find out

when the bill arrives that those hours, when nothing was being consumed,

were not taken into account.

If there were a real desire for organization, one need only look to

private sector workers as an example, whether they be in the

transportation, restaurant or service industry. The first "organizers"

pave the way, the second ones maintain a standard of excellence, and the

third benefit from word-of-mouth.

If there is no justice and fairness, bread becomes charity.

Translated by Maria Montoto

August 15 2012 Tags: bus, Chavez, illegal, restaurant, transport

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