The Diana Buses Are Already Broken Down / Roberto Quinones Haces

Diana bus assembled in Cuba. Photo from internet

GUANTANAMO, Cuba, October 7, 2013, Roberto Quiñones Haces/ – I’ve seen them circulating and and I remember that on a news broadcast on National Television they talked about them. They are called “Diana” and from last September, eight of them have to been to Guantanamo to improve public transport.

The new buses bear a lot of resemblance to those mid-sized “Girón” buses, which were also assembled in the Evelio Prieto plant in Havana, and dedicated primarily to student and intercity transport. According to a report from the journalist Raciel Sayú Font on the weekly “Venceremos” (We Shall Overcome) broadcast, put on by the provincial committee of the only Party, the vehicles have a capacity of 42 passengers, 28 seated and 12 standing, although the reader will see that this adds up to 40, not 42 as stated by the journalist.

The vehicle body is Brazilian, the diesel engine is Chinese, and the rest of the components come from Russia. The journalist said that Rodolfo Labadies Limedux, a transportation specialist at the Transport Agency, said that the vehicles passed technical reviews and met the quality and safety standards, but that they were out of service due to breakdowns, according to the report.

The information could not be published earlier because provincial and municipal transportation officials refused to provide details to this newspaper. The journalist is careful in mentioning names, but beyond identifying those responsible, it is obvious that the event shows although hundreds of Cuban Journalist Union (UPEC) congresses have called for an end to secrecy, those who have the last say are not exactly the journalists.

At least, as long as the buses in good condition keep circulating, Guantanamo’s residents will have two routes that have been reestablished after having been out of service for fifteen years. The route crosses the city from south to north and vice versa, but now it costs a peso each way, instead of the usual twenty centavos.

These buses represent a transportation alternative to the horse-drawn carriages, a private service that has helped people a lot in recent years but that dirties the city contaminates it. To completely remove the horses, the coachmen and all they leave behind, with the displeasure and dangers this service carries with it, Guantanamo needs a great many more Diana buses and, above all, for them not to breakdown prematurely.

Roberto Jesús Quiñones Haces

From Cubanet, 8 October 2013

Spanish post
10 October 2013