Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cuban Capitalism On Track To Protect Next Elite

Fabulous, headlined, Former Cuban officials get prison terms for corruption, By Marc Frank, Reuters reports three former vice ministers inCuba’s Basic Industry Ministry plus nine nickel industry executives have been sentenced to long prison terms for corruption, Cuban state media said on Tuesday. The officials and a former head of negotiations for Cubaniquel, the state-run nickel company, received sentences ranging from six to 12 years for “crimes associated with corruption during the negotiation, contracting and execution of the expansion of the Pedro Soto Alba (nickel) plant,” in eastern Cuba, according to the Communist Party newspaper Granma. The plant, the largest of three nickel processing plants in Holguin province, is a joint venture between the government and Canadian mining company, Sherritt International Corporation.
There was no mention of Sherritt in the report and company officials were not immediately available for comment. How convenient. Cubaniquel and Sherritt are also partners in a Canadian refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, where output from the Pedro Soto Alba plant is shipped for processing, then marketed by another joint venture between them.
Meaning another set of books for the same business. Once again, on the surface no matter how corrupt the convicted are, they were trained to move finance around and, as happens in capitalist countries, could it possibly be someone with more Cuban financial pull wants their money too?
The case, undertaken by President Raul Castro since he took over for his ailing brother Fidel in 2008, is one of a number of high level corruption probes, covering just about every sector of the Cuban economy. From street vendors to the already established elite, the capitalism that never was is being shaken and stirred for what benefit? Is the money that these newly minted convicts possibly stole going to filtrate through the economy now? Probably not. Capitalist Cuba always found a way to separate the elite from the population and will continue to play capitalists defending socialism, just as the world’s capitalists condemn that institution until as in the American Medical Insurance System, all the hands in the till have the doctors’ money.
Several foreign companies doing business in Cuba have been shut down and their top executives detained or jailed in the campaign against corruption, which is so extensive on the island that Castro has termed it a threat to the socialist system. Entrepreneurial initiative will be judged corrupt until whose friends are in control? Well, at least Cuban power is learning the tricks of the game Cubans tried learning on their own without Big Brother’s help. And without the two party system in control bickering with each other enough that the general population can act on its’ own – when the people can get away with it.
The Cuban nickel industry has been the subject of a number of investigations over the last few years as output declined, Reuters reports without diagnosing scapegoatism.
Two years ago police dragged several officials involved in the scandal away in handcuffs from their offices in Havana, causing consternation among employees. Soon afterwards, police began arresting nickel executives in Moa, Holguin, heart of the nickel industry.
The three vice ministers included Alfredo Rafael Zayas Lopez, who served in that capacity from 2004 to 2007, Ricardo Gonzalez Sanchez (2001-2004) and Antonio Orizon de Los Reyes Bermudez (1980-1999). Respectively, they received sentences of 12 years, 10 years and eight years. And judging by the years they reigned, whatever was going on was business as usual they now have to pay for while the judicial system no doubt has a few friends who could, maybe, quite possibly, start cleaning up from the scraps. What had always slipped through the cracks that government enforcement wants filled with – what? The next generation working at marginal rates decided by the government. Ha! No, the next guys will share and share alike for a time under sanctioned practices.
Great Raul. Fine job once you get your commercialized prison system running well too, because no doubt that’s going to cost a bundle if you make the mistake of caring for the prisoners properly. But commercialized, the Americans might grow to love you as your rule becomes more like ours where the weak know their place. It’s all capitalism, Raul. All socialism. You know what your problem is? If the lawyers are paid well enough for all this law enforcement, you’re doomed. And the only thing that will work is the legal facade that was once called socialism, that face it, wasn’t really tried if doctors made close to nothing and you and your brother sat around smoking fat cigars which is how your legacy now reads no matter how much capitalist corruption is uncovered. Go get em Raul. Make the United States pay for defending mobsters’ right to exploit you. Teach the world what socialism never really was, capitalism as ran by two brothers sitting around comfortably smoking fat, smelly cigars. I’m being redundant? So are you.
Because the Cubaniquel executive, Cristobal Saavedra Montero, was sentenced to six years in prison when if the enterprise is under state direction why wasn’t it fixed before having to go through this. You’re not even running for office, Raul, and making scapegoats of an entire nation all over again. As the eight other executives received sentences of up to eight years, Granma said.
That’ll teach them. What?
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