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From Baksheesh to BriberyUnderstanding the Global Fight Against Corruption and Graft$
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T. Markus Funk and Andrew S. Boutros

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190232399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190232399.001.0001

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6 Cuba
From Baksheesh to Bribery

Andrew Boutros

Oxford University Press

Cuba has long been saddled with a culture of corruption. A lengthy history of colonialism and a state-controlled economy have produced a country with a weak economy, product shortages, low wages, and an understanding that taking a little for oneself is not only acceptable but, in many cases, necessary to get by. Scarcity and rationing of resources have led to an environment where obtaining goods and services requires grease payments, workers steal items from their employers to sell on the black market, and employees are often absent so that they can earn extra money from side jobs. At the same time, poorly paid bureaucrats, business managers, and even high-level government officials supplement their income through illicit use of their positions. The centralization of power, strict government control of the media, and lax compliance oversight have led to a lack of transparency and accountability. While high-level corruption on a large scale is less common in Cuba than other parts of Latin America, lower-level corruption is widespread. Over the years, the ruling Castro regime has taken a number of approaches to curbing corruption that have led to laws and institutions aimed at eliminating corrupt conduct, fraud, waste, abuse, and cronyism. However, there is little protection for whistle-blowers in Cuba. Accordingly, a vital tool in the effort to detect and prevent bribery, the misuse of government funds, fraud, and other types of corruption is largely missing.

Keywords:   Cuba corruption, Cuba anti-corruption legislation, foreign officials bribery, Cuba domestic bribery, Cuba bribery penalties, Cuba influence peddling, Cuba whistle-blower protections

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