Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

November 3, 1998, Cuba Free Press.

THEY CONTINUE TO STEAL ELECTRICITY IN HAVANA By Odalys Curbelo, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - The number of clients who steal electricity in this capital city grew to 11,288 as of September, compared to 9,600 in 1997, according to a source in the Basic Union Electrical Company.

The source says the methods consumers use to defraud the state include: 1) Alterations in the basic meter; 2) use of electricity without its being recorded by the clocks, and 3) the bribery of bureaucrats who modify the accounts and readings.

All these methods have been proven in part by inspections that occurred with sudden spot checks in different parts of the city without prior notice or scheduling.

The thievery phenomenon grew out of the economic crisis that dominates the country, which obliges the people to use any methods, including bribery and misapplication of money so as to be able to subsist.

The government is obliged now to take measures that go from fines up to 100 pesos (half a month's pay) and the retroactive billing for estimated consumption of electricity for various periods. The government announces, besides, that it will increase the number of sudden inspections so as to identify meters with problems so as to cut off electricity to certain houses and initiate judicial processes. These processes would aim at penalizing electricity thieves with jail terms ranging from three months to a year.

Odalys Curbelo, Cuba Free Press.


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