Wednesday, September 20, 2006

All aboard

If you wanted to hold an international transport conference and fair, where in the world would you go? Cuba? Hardly.

After all, this is a country with one of the worst transport systems on the planet, as anyone who has visited the island can confirm. A land where decades of economic mismanagement and stagnation means the 1958 Chevrolet still reigns supreme. It could be worse, of course. It could be the 1978 Lada, but let's not go there ...

In any case, an international transport conference and fair is about to open in Cuba, under the auspices of the Castro regime.

According to the official Cuban newsagency, Prensa Latina, the conference opens on 26 September in Havana and will be attended by representatives from over 40 nations.

In what may be a moment of uncharacteristic candour on the part of Prensa Latina (or a Freudian slip?), the report says the conference will provide an opportunity for the Communist regime to “show the modest advances in the process of modernisation and recovery of this activity” in Cuba. My emphasis, of course.

The Minister for Transport, Carlos Manuel Pasos, also told reporters that a contract will be signed during the conference with the equally dictatorial regime of Byelorussia for the purchase by Cuba of 100 new articulated buses .

Mr Pasos assured reporters that this time, the buses will be “adopted to the Cuban climate”.


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