Cuba cutting everything but security
Published: Nov. 22, 2010 at 11:50 AM
HAVANA, Nov. 22 (UPI) — Cuba is making drastic cuts in public
employment and spending but not in its security apparatus, Communist
Party documents show.
A party directive issued in September spelling out layoffs in 26
ministries and state-owned enterprises made no mention of the Interior
Ministry or armed forces, El Nuevo Herald of Miami reported.
Vladimiro Roca, a dissident and former air force pilot, told the Herald
by phone from Havana, "They are set on maintaining the repression at a
very high level."
Police are recruiting officers, the military and security budgets are
increasing and the government has bought riot-control and light military
equipment abroad, the report said.
The new gear could be designed to "put down … rioting in the event the
Raul Castro government's experiment in economic liberalization goes
awry," said Armando Mastrapa, a Cuban-American academic expert on the
Ukraine reportedly sold military equipment to Cuba in 2004, China sold
it vehicles and Spain exported riot equipment to Havana in 2008.
A well-equipped riot squad made its public debut in September, quelling
Pakistani medical students who were complaining about the quality of
their training and limited Internet access, the Herald report said.