Corruption in Cuba: Castro and Beyond

By Sergio Díaz-Briquets; Jorge Pérez-López | Go to book overview

Four
DETERMINANTS
OF CORRUPTION
IN SOCIALIST CUBA

The extremely high concentration of resources in the state sector and the centralized nature of the management system place a great deal of power into the hands of government officials of a socialist, centrally planned economy. As we discussed in Chapter I and as Klitgaard (1988) has posited, the level of corruption is a function of the degree of monopoly exercised by the state over the supply of a good or service, the degree of discretion enjoyed by a government agency or official in making resource allocation decisions, and the degree of accountability of the government (or its agents) to others.

In socialist societies such as Cuba’s, with an all-encompassing public sector, most resource allocation decisions are made by government employees who have wide discretion in their activities and are susceptible to using state property for private gain. Corruption is another side of bureaucratic discretion, since delays create the opportunity to take bribes (La Porta et al. 1998, 23). Moreover, public control of resources results in a lack of identifiable ownership and widespread misuse and theft of resources. President Castro has recognized the potential for power to corrupt, although in his view, revolutionary convictions can overcome the human temptation to abuse power and to participate in corrupt activities for personal gain:

One of the participants [at the conference] asked me … whether
power is corruptive. I think it is. This is true. Having the power to
steal is corruptive. Many have been corrupted by power because
they have had the opportunity to rob. I have seen many men with
the tendency to abuse power. This happens when they have a bit
of power. This is a human weakness. We see ourselves as revolu-
tionaries, and revolutionaries have convictions. Our convictions
have remained unchanged throughout time. Convictions must be
cultivated. They do not develop by themselves. (Castro 1997)

-89-

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Corruption in Cuba: Castro and Beyond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Tables and Figure ix
  • Preface xi
  • One - Corruption and Transitions 1
  • Two - The Nature of Corruption and Its Consequences 23
  • Three - Roots of Corruption in Cuba 56
  • Four - Determinants of Corruption in Socialist Cuba 89
  • Five - Corruption in Socialist Cuba 123
  • Six - The Early Transition and Corruption 180
  • Seven - Averting Corruption in the Long Term 206
  • Notes 239
  • Bibliography 243
  • Index 267
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