Economy, Transportation and Communications
Joven Rebelde, bus bodies, Cuban Women, Muchachas, Trabajadores
After 1991 public transportation decreased by 60 percent due to shortages in gasoline and the lack of spare replacement parts for buses. Private chauffeurs with access to gasoline began black market taxi services. Crowded and uncomfortable camellos (Spanish for “camels”), bus bodies welded together and pulled by diesel cabs, ran intermittently and provided transportation in the cities. More expensive small buses carried people who could pay five times the fare of the camellos. The most common mode of travel has been bicycles, introduced in mass numbers in 1988. Cuba has 12 airports which provide scheduled domestic flights. Its chief ports are Havana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba.
Communication services have improved due to new contract terms between the United States and Cuba over international telephone calls. New cables link the two nations, though all expenses must be born by U.S. callers. On average, 18 people share one telephone.
Mass communication through television and radio are well developed, although state censorship controls the content of all programs. The print media conveys newsworthy information as well as government propaganda. Granma is the major newspaper. Joven Rebelde and Trabajadores, newspapers for youth and workers, respectively, are also distributed throughout the island. Mujeres and Muchachas are journals published by the Federation for Cuban Women and inform on issues such as fashion, housekeeping, women in the military and in foreign service, health, and political propaganda. Verde Olivo is a journal for members of the military.
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