In 1972, Cuba joined the COMECON (an economic union to enhance co-operation between socialistic countries) which was dominated by the Soviet Union. Cuba was able to trade with and find economic support from the Soviet Union until it collapsed in 1991. After this period, Cuba entered the 'Special Period' and life become much harder because basic things like buses were impossibly difficult to come by! The public transportation system is now so inadequate for Cubans that hundreds cram onto dangerously run-down buses, often getting stuck in doorways or windows. Some even resort to riding on top of the bus or wheel guards! It is a popular place for theft because many people cram into each other making it impossible to feel sketchy hands sneaking into pockets or around wrists removing watches! In Cuba, you're lucky to wait less than 1.5 hours for a bus to get home from the city. The most notoriously risky buses are the CAMELS, which are basically three buses jammed into one.