Corrupción – Cuba – Corruption
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The Book Fair You Don’t See

The Book Fair You Don’t See / Yoani Sanchez
Posted on February 15, 2014

Behind the shelves there is another International Book Fair. One barely
perceived among the partitions and walls of the exhibition areas. The
national newspapers will never report on it, but these parallel and
hidden events sustain the other one. A network of hardship, endless
workdays and poverty-level wages, support the main publishing showcase
on the island. For each page printed, there is a long list of
irregularities, improvisations and exploitations.

The Cuban Book Institute (ICL) is the principal organizer of this
celebration of reading that is held every February. However, the state
entity that controls literary production is overwhelmed by the lack of
resources and corruption scandals. Its director, Zuleica Romay, asked to
step down weeks before the start of the book fair. However, it’s still
unknown if she will be granted “liberation” from her responsibilities,
or will “follow her duty” to maintain her position.

Many of the people who worked on this twenty-third edition of the Fair
played the role of the ants who prevent the collapse of the anthill. The
“credits” chalked on the Cuban government’s account are the fruit of
personal sacrifices and violations that no union would demand: lunches
delayed or missed completely, editorial decisions that can’t be taken
because first “you have to consult the comrade from State Security,”
workers who bring resources from their own homes to decorate the place,
books that travel in the trunk of a private car — or in the basket of a
bike — a lack of institutional gasoline and water supply that never
makes it to the mouths of the thirsty employees…

Spanish post
15 February 2014

Source: The Book Fair You Don’t See / Yoani Sanchez | Translating Cuba –
http://translatingcuba.com/the-book-fair-you-dont-see-yoani-sanchez/

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