Technology Banned at Military Enterprises / Miriam Celaya

Military business interests range from hard-currency stores, transportation for tourists and restaurants, to hotels in different parts of the country.

So that no one can say that the bans don’t also apply in places better favored by the dominant caste, a resolution has recently been passed banning employees of some well-known companies of the Ministry of Armed Forces from bringing portable computer devices to work. What that will mean is that employees won’t be allowed to bring to work flash drives, external drives, laptops, notebooks, mobile phones or any other “potential support for the transfer of information that can pose risks to the institution or to the country in its development of political, military, economic, commercial, scientific, technical, cultural, social and other aspects.”  How about that?

The rascal that makes an enemy out of any gadget related to computer technology is resolution 288/2011, and it’s a sort of gag order for employees of the Business Management Group (EAG), directed by Luis Alberto López Callejas, son-in-law of the General-President, and includes a number of companies operating in foreign currencies, including Gaviota. ALMEST (I don’t know the meaning of this acronym), TRD Caribe, Transgaviota, and others.

This resolution was reported to the employees in the early days of November, and although the order is apparently being obeyed, many unofficially admit that they carry their flash memories and cellular phones, contravening the order. “My cell phone line was way too expensive for me not to use it now.  I have a young kid at home and I have to be on the alert in case he gets sick or needs something,” a friend who works in one of those centers tells me.

The employees of these private military businesses are civilians, but they are subject to resolutions and circulars and are expected to observe the rules in a military fashion. In any case, the measure reflects the official terror of the possibilities of new technologies. In the face of such behavior, the referenced companies seem more like intelligence centers or offices where exchange of information takes place dealing with national security… or rather, the insecurity of the government.

Translated by: Norma Whiting

November 18 2011