HAVANA – The Cuban government has launched an audit of 742 state-run companies, 20 percent of the total, amid allegations of widespread corruption and the death of a Chilean executive of one suspect firm, Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday.
The Controller General’s Office began the auditing process on Monday, the newspaper said.
Controller General Gladys Bejerano said the audit will be rolled out in a “random sample” of firms, not in workplaces where there have been reports and indications of irregularities.
The inspection will be done by 3,895 professionals, technicians and students, who will evaluate the state of the firms’ management, their efficiency level and any problems that emerge.
The Controller General’s Office was created last year by President Raul Castro, who has insisted on the need to strengthen legality and the island’s institutions.
Castro last week called on institutions to deal with crime with “greater success and coordination,” and said that the Council of State is giving “priority attention” to the workings of prosecutors, the courts and the Controller General’s Office.
“Without a social rejection of illegalities and corruption, not a few will go on getting rich off the sweat of the majority, an attitude that directly attacks the essence of socialism,” the president said.
The dangers of internal corruption have also been denounced in the past few days by the official media and intellectuals like the academic Esteban Morales, who said that graft is “much more dangerous” that the internal opposition and puts in danger the future of the Cuban Revolution.
Morales’s article coincided with the scandal of the death in Havana of Chilean executive Roberto Baudrand.
Baudrand, 59, was the general manager of Alimentos Rio Zaza, a food company jointly owned by the Cuban government and Chilean entrepreneur Max Marambio, who is a personal friend of former President Fidel Castro, Raul’s older brother.
Cuban authorities had barred Baudrand from leaving the island amid an ongoing investigation of the firm for alleged irregularities.
The Chilean executive, who was found dead a week ago in his Havana apartment, perished of “acute respiratory insufficiency” associated with drugs and alcohol, according to Cuban authorities. EFE