Transport in Cuba
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October 2013
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The Hell of Traveling to the “Interior”

The Hell of Traveling to the “Interior” / Leon Padron Azcuy
Posted on September 30, 2013

HAVANA, Cuba, September 25, 2013, Leon Padron / In the
new “Cuba Says” segment on the TV National News, they addressed the
problem of transportation. But it was not a simple confrontation between
between some critics among the people and the accustomed triumphalism of
the officials.

The Transport Ministry officials insisted that the minibus cooperatives,
at a price of five Cuban pesos, have improved transportation in the
capital. But they didn’t even remotely address the torments of those who
have to travel to the interior of the country.

The national bus and train terminals are always crowded with anxious
travelers, prisoners of inefficiency, delay and corruption. The ticket
resellers have tickets at four times the official price.

The waiting list

La Coubre is located near the avenue of the port, where travelers
headed for the eastern provinces converge without reservations. The
embarkation depends on the faults at the national bus terminal, for
those who have to put their names on a long waiting list.

It is here where stoicism is put to the test, because sometimes people
have to wait for whole days, sitting on the floor, or standing, with the
worst filth, great heat, and a persistent clamor that is only comparable
to the torments of hell.

At La Coubre I met a man from Holguin who for two years has come to the
capital every month for his son’s medical treatment, because of lack of
equipment in the hospital in his town. When I asked him how he arranged
these trips, he said he sometimes he spends more than eight hours
waiting for passage to Holguin and has to sleep on the floor with his
sick child.

Chinese Buses

Nearly nine years ago, the Cuban authorities acquired a batch of Yutong
buses in Chine, which improved inter-provincial transportation service.
Today the reality is different. Most of these buses are out of service.
Armando, a driver who covers the Havana-Moa route, told Cubanet, “These
buses turned out pretty good, working without maintenance and without
spare parts,” adding, “When I heard them talk about transportation on
TV, I thought they would mention that the drivers, when the cars
breakdown, we have to pay, from our own pockets, for the maintenance and
the parts if we want to continue.”

Leon Padron Azcuy,

From Cubanet

25 September 2013

Source: “The Hell of Traveling to the “Interior” / Leon Padron Azcuy |
Translating Cuba” –

Tags: bus, hospital, train, transport, travel

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