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 Internet 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 ETECSA. 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 investor, 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 housing, 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
emigration, 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
*Enterprise of Telecommunications of Cuba, Annonymous Society.
**Permutes are a legalized form of exchanges of living quarters.
Translated by: Maria Montoto
June 30 2012