Home > Miguel Iturria Savón > Problems in the Food Industry

Problems in the Food Industry

A company official from the Ministry of Food Industry, informs me that the tide against corruption that is shaking the foundations of the Cuban regime, affecting primarily the food-producing entities, where “even the fattest fishes are under suspicion.”

The source said Alejandro Roca Iglesias, who was minister for decades and who last year merged the Ministries of Food and Fisheries, is under investigation and spent two weeks behind bars at Cien y Aldabó, a special unit of the Technical Research Department, in Havana.

“Roca was untouchable until the scandal of Max Marambio and the other Chilean. The death of the foreign manager and the audits of Rio Zaza and related businesses uncovered missing and diverted millions from the time of Roca Iglesias, and intimate of Fidel Castro Ruz, who formerly consulted on his personal diet.”

He stated that almost all of the retinue of managers associated with Alejandro Roca, some in army, a number of retirees and others in related businesses and ministries, are being interrogated.

“One of the most illustrative cases is that of Juan Jose Ferro, a familiar vice-minister now located in the office of the Ministry of Economy and Planning. Despite his incompetence and despotism Ferro was director of the Meat Union and of the Oil and Fats Company, which he drove into the ground, leaving almost nothing.”

According to the source, the domino affect threatens the pyramid of directors of the Food and Fish Industry, as what is called The Collateral Law, “triggers a review of the top officials when there is any scandal in subordinate dependencies, as they didn’t take measures as required before the fact.”

“There are no factories, food processors or distributors without officials who steal or divert products, and on top of that are the ninjas who operate scam networks on the street with the custodians and managers, paid in advance to look the other way or to reject any complaints from the unions or workers.”

When I asked the employee if the new audit and enforcement measures would stop the corruption in the sector, he told me, “No, theft is a way of life, from the lowest worker to the director of the companies they go into it to skim off food or money. They don’t feel like they are owners nor do they feel guilty, they take whatever is within reach.”

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