Castro, Inc. cracks down on gasoline black market

To survive in Castrogonia, everyone needs to cheat and to deal with the black market.

Under-the-table deals are essential because of the corrupt Castro regime’s abysmally dysfunctional monopoly on the entire economy.

In other words, everyone needs to “solve” their problems creatively by cheating, somehow, in myriad ways.

Aaah, but there’s a catch, always.

If anyone in the black market feels they are being left out of the cheating or the money flow, they often accuse others of “corruption” to ensure that they get their slice of the pastelito, or whatever…

So, government functionaries often initiate inspections and crackdowns to redirect the flow and to cash in, knowing fully that whatever “corruption” they are messing with is an absolute necessity for those involved.

Viva la Revolucion!  Long live socialism!

From Translating Cuba:

Authorities have taken a firm stand with private transportation in Santiago de Cuba and have begun to demand exhaustive proof of fuel purchases from the state gas stations to verify that they are not from the black market.

“Last Friday there was a massive operation, and four drivers were detained in the Micro 9 unit,” says activist Jose Antonio Lopez Pena, who closely follows the transportation issue in the eastern province. At least one of them had to sign a warning, to which this daily had access, in which they confirm that he cannot operate as a carrier if he does not buy fuel in the state gas stations.

The warning is issued by the Ministry of Transportation and signed by Wilfredo Ramos, an official with the province’s State Traffic Unit (UTE).

The application of the rule, which was already widespread in Havana and in the west, has been extended to the eastern zone since the end of May and deeply disturbs the carriers who resort en masse to the black market to buy fuel. Most of that gasoline comes from diversions from the state sector.

“The police and inspectors know that we can’t make a living if we buy oil and gasoline from the State,” explains Ramon, who drives an old truck from the middle of the last century to make the route between several Santiago municipalities.

The private carriers complain about the large sums of money they spend on licenses, taxes and vehicle repairs, so they try to make money by acquiring fuel on the black market at a lower price than the official rate.

During recent months instability in the petroleum supply from Venezuela caused significant cuts in distribution within the state sector. This situation triggered the price of the product in the informal market which is fed by diversions from businesses, entities and personal allotment that is given to some professionals like doctors.

From eight Cuban pesos (CUPs) per liter, petroleum suddenly rose to 15 on the so-called black market, while in the state service centers the equivalent is sold for 24 CUPs per liter (roughly 1$ US, or about $4 a gallon).

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