FROM CUBA

State inspectors stop the music on Santa Clara's streets

SANTA CLARA, Cuba - May 31 (Rigoberto González Morales, Cubanacán Press / www.cubanet.org) - State inspectors have seized the audio systems installed on licenses private pedicabs.

The inspectors told the pedicab owners that the battery-powered sound systems were illegal but refused to specify what laws were being broken.

Because of the shortage of public transportation, pedicab owners are licensed to carry one or two paying passengers.

The pedicab owners considered the music, on cassettes or CDs, entertainment for the passengers and a distraction for themselves.

"It was as if carnival was being celebrated, but now there's no longer music," said one pedestrian who witnessed the inspectors in action.