‘Artisanal Charcoal’: Another way Cuba profits from slave labor

Enslaved Cuban in native attire stacks bags of artisanal charcoal headed for capitalist nations

From our Bureau of Twenty-First Century Neoslavery with some assistance from our Bureau Highly Praised and Highly Lucrative Forms of Socialist Slave Labor

Castro, Inc.’s slave doctor racket is not its only lucrative business that relies on forced labor. The doctors get all the attention, for sure, since most of the world seems to believe that their “mission” is a humanitarian venture worthy of praise. But there are other slaves in Castrogonia who get no attention whatsoever: prisoners who work for a pittance in exchange for a few measly perks in their dungeons or, in some cases, for a slight reduction in their sentences.

The working conditions are abysmal and break just abut every code followed by the civilized world. The story below focuses on the “artisanal charcoal” industry, but there are also many other ways in which Castro, Inc. employs this segment of their enslaved population. And you can bet your bottom dollar that working conditions are similarly atrocious in all such ventures.

Abridged and loosely translated from Diario de Cuba

They sleep in barracks, almost massively on the floor; They eat what they can and destroy their bodies following orders from the mayoral. It is not a historical portrait of slavery in Spanish Cuba. Overcrowding, repression, mutilations and theft of wages is the norm in Cuban prisons known as “farms.” Thousands serve their sentences there. They produce the penultimate snobbery of the European jetset: marabou charcoal for their barbecues.

Burns on legs and arms are constant in the ovens, whether in Sancti Spíritus or Cienfuegos, due to the absence of adequate means of protection. In Camagüey, an inmate lost an eye. They are not isolated cases. This is a difficult and risky task.

On top of everything, prisoners do not receive everything stated in the official payrolls. The direction of the unpaid money, but reflected on paper, is unknown.

A contract from 2023, to which DIARIO DE CUBA had access, shows the basic salaries of more than a hundred prisoners, transferred from a penitentiary establishment to the Various Productions Company (PROVARI), in a central province of the country that is not specified. in this report to protect sources. The reference salary of “charcoal workers” is around 2,800 Cuban pesos, about nine dollars at the informal exchange rate. A little more than a kilogram of milk powder on the black market.

“They require us to make a thousand kilograms of coal for about 900 pesos, but there are very few who can reach that amount. If we manage to make it first class coal, they pay you one peso per kilogram. If it is second or third class, they pay you 25 cents per kilo. Making more than a thousand pesos a month is a prodigy. That is from another world, almost inaccessible,” said a former prisoner from the Island.

According to official media, the Government exports per ton (1,000kg) at prices between 300 and 400 dollars. Of that amount, only about three-four dollars would reach the producer prisoner.

PROVARI is a department of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT). Its units are located in all provinces; They produce construction materials, charcoal for export, plastics, mattresses, textiles and paints, in addition to dismantling automobiles. It is directed by Lieutenant Colonel Juan Luis Baffil Rodríguez, according to data from the Center for the Promotion of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment of Cuba.

The conditions in the grueling work of producing coal cause countless accidents. Not just from burns. Cutting the marabou without gloves, boots and proper clothing is a daring task, and anyone who has tripped over the bush, even once in their life, knows that.

An inmate who sleeps on the floor of the farm and goes out to the fields daily complained: “They have told us that they are going to give us boots, but we have to pay for them. The bedbugs are killing us. There is no water, we have to go down four floors look for it. They punish us by taking away our pass, if it rains and the coal spoils. They also take away days of reduction of the penalty, if we do not comply with the rule.”

The (UN) Mandela Standards stipulate that those imprisoned “shall not be subjected to slavery or servitude” and must be covered by the same standards of pay, health and safety as free citizens. The Cuban Government blatantly ignores them.

As DIARIO DE CUBA previously reported, each year between 60,000 and 80,000 tons of marabou charcoal are sold to China, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Israel and the United States.

Whole story HERE in Spanish

1 thought on “‘Artisanal Charcoal’: Another way Cuba profits from slave labor”

  1. The regime knows its target customers are highly unlikely to object significantly, so it’s all good. And the Che shirt is always a nice touch, no? Lord have mercy. Vamos bien.

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