CUBA: The Best Policy

Bosses of Havana's embattled bus company, the Cooperativa de Omnibus Aliados, have suffered and bled for years over the old Cuban custom of filtración. Under this time-honored racket, unscrupulous conductors on the company's rickety, orange-painted guaguas (pronounced wah-wahs) have filtered up to 40% of each day's fares into their own pockets. Last year, in a desperate effort to replace the conductors with temptation-proof turnstiles, the company offered to retire all surplus conductors at full pay. Their union—the Sindicato de Empleados de Omnibus Aliados—refused.

Last week the company struck a shrewd blow at filtración. Under a new plan, the conductors (many...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!