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It's Oil for fidel, Monopoly Money for the People
Thursday, December 30, 2004 By: Juan Paxety
fidel tightens control
fidel has taken another step to tighten his control over the Cuban people. With the discovery of oil on Christmas, now castro has announced all revenues must go through Cuba's national bank
The Americas' only one-party communist government said in a statement that from January 1, all revenues from state-run businesses must be channeled though Cuba's central bank.
"Next year, there will be a considerable increase in financial in-flows from abroad," thanks to deals with China, Venezuela and an oil exploration and production deal with Canada's Sherritt, explained the note, signed by bank chief Francisco Soberon.
The article refers to state-run businesses, but, of course, any legal business under a communist government is state-run. fidel is like any other big government advocate - he's overjoyed at the prospect of a new source of money for him to spend. Meanwhile, as for the people, the article goes on to say:
In November, Castro took the US dollar out of circulation in Cuba, more than a decade after having made it co-legal tender.
Cubans, having no alternative, exchanged their greenbacks for "convertible pesos" usable only on the island. The government invented the currency -- which Cubans call "chavitos" or "Monopoly (board game) money" -- to make up for the short supply of dollars.
Monopoly money - it would be funny if it weren't so sad.
Update - One thing I like about hearing non-native English speakers speak, or reading what they write, is that sometimes a great truth is revealed by the unusual way they can express things. Here's a Vietnamese News Agency story on the Monopoly Money:
Havana, Dec. 31 (VNA) Every revenue/expense of the Cuban state in foreign currency will be deposited/ paid into/by a banking account in the Central Bank of Cuba and every expense in foreign currency will be determined by a committee headed by the central bank.
According to Granma, all foreign currency revenues under the forms of financial contributions, taxes and incomes from joint-ventures and joint-stock companies will be deposited into the account. As of February 1, 2005, the committee, comprised of experts from relevant State agencies, will be the sole body in charge of determining the foreign currency revenues and expenses of Cuban agencies and enterprises.
That shows the real level of fidel's control.