Dissidents in Cuba
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ETEC, On Line with Neglect

ETEC, On Line with Neglect / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado

Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado, Translator: Maria Montoto

Some months ago, I read on the that the Cuban government had

bought from Italy its portion of shares in Empresa de Telecomunicaciones

de Cuba, S.A.*, better known by its acronym . If it is now totally

national, the abbreviation for "anonymous society" (S.A.) is

superfluous. That purchase may be interpreted as a convenient "financial

exclusion" of a foreign , whose economic injections in Cuba were

fundamental to Cuban telephony. It is like a blockade in reverse,

whereby the only beneficiary is the all-powerful state, which obtained

the capital that it needed for that branch without having to cede too

much to the liberating capitalist demands of its commercial associate.

I learned some days ago through the Cuban press, that they have

facilitated the change of titled ownership for fixed landline phones: a

fundamental step forward — some believe — toward the debureaucratization

of that entity. I believe that it was a logical step after having

legalized the purchase/sale of , because as is natural, some real

estate properties include telephone service and it was ridiculous from a

legal standpoint that it would be easier to be the owner of a house than

of a phone.

Last May, the Ministry of Informatics and Communications approved

Resolution No. 82, which makes possible the change of ownership title.

Before, only transfers in cases of divorce, death, definitive

, or permutas** were allowed, in a country where only the

minority of the population has access to that constant means of


I don't know if the procedure will be prompt or as slow and ineffective

as state services tend to be for Cubans. We gain "the dignity" of

recuperating "sovereignty" in our only telephone company in exchange for

mistreatment, indolence and inefficiency for all of us Cubans who live

on the archipelago.

This past 2nd of June my telephone line "passed away" and although we

reported it on various occasions (several of our friends also did), we

are still in mourning for the lack of communication.

What to do? Where to seek help? It appears that when there is financing

from "foreign exploiters" mixed in with a government enterprise, we are

better tended and paid, and less exploited than in one that is solely

Cuban; and that "damned capitalism" is better than the capitalism of a

ruling state, which ignores us, violates our rights and denies us

services and attention.

When ETECSA was an anonymous society and a client reported a break in

service, it would take two or three days to fix. Now that only a few

months have passed since the state once again assumed control over the

telephone enterprise as sole proprietor, it is as if there were no one

tending to its given function. It is preferable that they charge us a

diligent smile, rather than constantly advertising apparent and biliary

benefits for the average Cuban, which are only in the minds of the

highest political and bureaucratic class — generally demonstrating

indolence and ineptitude.

The slogan "ETECSA: on line with the world" reflects the institutional

frankness — aligned with the government — that they are fundamentally

interested in the part of the orb which provides them with juicy

dividends in the coin of the capitalist "enemy", whom they criticize so

much, and not in the other one — within our borders — without capital

and exploited, to whom they imposed a line of silence and a devalued

money that they disrespect and reject.

Note: My telephone service was reestablished two weeks after this text,

which was delayed due to the impossibility of accessing the internet for

a month.

Translator's notes:

*Enterprise of Telecommunications of Cuba, Annonymous Society.

**Permutes are a legalized form of exchanges of living quarters.

Translated by: Maria Montoto

June 30 2012


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