The Golden Cows

Monday, June 15, 2009
"Cattle are sacred in Cuba. A colorful etching spotted at an Old Havana crafts market underscored that point, depicting a cow saying, 'I'm worth more than you.'

That's because a person can get more jail time for killing a cow than killing a human, under Cuban law. Cow killers can get four to 10 years in prison under a toughened crime law adopted in January. Those who transport or sell the meat from an illegally slaughtered cow can get three to eight years. Providing beef at an unauthorized restaurant or workplace can fetch two to five years. And buying contraband beef is punishable by three months to one year in jail or a steep fine. Authorities also have the power to confiscate all or part of the property of anyone involved in black-market cattle dealings.

In contrast, the jail sentence for homicide is generally seven to 15 years, unless there are aggravating circumstances. Suspects involved in contract hits, kidnap-murders, sadistic or perverse killings, the murder of police officials and other acts can get from 15 years in jail to the death penalty."

EDITOR'S NOTE: This segment is from a 2005 Dallas Morning News article. Please note that Cubans are generally not bound to any religious or cultural observations regarding cows or meat of any kind. This is purely a political and economic consequence of the Castro regime.