Cuba: Cabdrivers Arrested for Protesting Labor Regulations, Extortion by Local Officials
EspañolOn Tuesday, independent cabdrivers in Cienfuegos, Cuba, demanded local authorities change policies currently in place that they believe hurt their jobs. After the protest, ten cabdrivers were arrested according to Cubanet.
The workers’ demands concern a series of restrictions that do not allow them to transit freely on major avenues or pick up passengers outside of established, state-appointed routes. They also protest the taxes they are forced to pay, up to 10 percent of their revenue, and other fees that fund Cuba’s Social Security.
A spokesman for the cabdrivers stated that those arrested are being held at the Forensic Techniques Unit, a place commonly known for torture practices by police, and demanded detainees be immediately released.
Cabdrivers interviewed by Cubanet claimed they are frequently extorted by official inspectors that oversee their work, confessing that they are frequently forced to bribe them so they may continue to work unmolested.