Much like the old Soviet Union and its colonies used to lie about everything from wheat production figures to literacy rates, the boys in Havana have spent the past 50 years constantly "fine tuning" all published data. It's in their nature.
Which is why it's difficult to ascertain exactly how many people have died on the island over the past two to three weeks as hurricanes Gustav and then Ike tore through much of the Caribbean, causing millions of dollars in damage.
According to reports from Havana, the official Cuban media claims that not a single person died as a result of Gustav last week, while four casualties have been officially reported due to Ike: a woman is said to have died when her home collapsed, a man was killed by a tree, and two others died while working on a roof.
The fact that the regime has admitted that four people lost their lives as a result of the latest hurricane (and provided details of how they died), is in itself unusual and an almost certain sign that sadly, the true death toll may be much, much higher.
Unfortunately, such information is normally deemed to be a State secret - just like the state of Fidel Castro's health.