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Rational choice: Sweet Robbery and Corruption in Cuba.

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Rational choice: Sweet Robbery and Corruption in Cuba.

Mensaje por glezbo el Dom Nov 13, 2011 2:33 pm

The business of survival in Cuba, also known as corruption have developed a moral code, ethics and a surreal semantic interpretation of its own like everything else in the island, can't help but to remind me of the old spanish saying that goes - LADRON QUE ROBA A LADRON TIENE CIEN AÑOS DE PERDON.

From Emilio Ichikawa's blog.

Best regards, Glezbo.

“Corruption” has become routine and standardized as a code of conduct. At this point hardly anyone in Cuba considers it to be a criminal abnormality to “rob” public assets; this situation also suggests a semantic problem. If “robbing” is a term that is going to retain its traditional implications of criminality and immorality, then its application to the Cuban context is problematic and a more analytical approach becomes necessary.

It could be debatable to understand in terms of “robbery” certain actions which though not “normal” according to the parameters of Western rationality, nor moral from a Christian point of view, qualify as routine behavior under totalitarianism. Take, for example, the case of some workers of a pasteurization plant who “take” (robs?) a few litters of milk for their family or a security guard (CVP) at a poultry farm who “resolves” (robs?) eggs and hens for his food. Another option is to deprive the word “rob” of its negative meaning, but this would have the rub of taking Cuba out of the normal parameters of understanding, breaking the elemental communications code. It would be tantamount to saying that in Castro´s Cuba, “to rob” is not “to rob”.

The custom of “robbery” (with informal license) has segregated a (micro) code of ethics, without it being written anywhere, for the Cuban community (Miami include) he who “robs” a pig or bull from a private pen deserves greater punishment than one who takes one from state barn. In the final analysis, what belongs to the state is Castro´s or “everyone”, that is, nobody’s.

But as some observers assert with some logic, from a general standpoint, “to rob is to rob” and it deserves a two-edged sanction, both legal and moral. I have mentioned very run-of-the-mill examples. But these problems apply as well to more “elevated” matters, if you will; for example, when it comes to the theft of cultural heritage.

In (recent) past times, the publication with impunity of bibliographical assets has been observed from the National Library of Cuba. The arguments are well-know: intellectuals also have to live, it is better for them to be published rather than forgotten: they money that so-and-so earned for publishing them abroad was very little when compared to the effort of getting them out, etc. All is understandable, but as I was saying, from a general ethical standpoint, “to rob” is “to rob”. It is (again) a matter of debate.
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