Last September, I heard Radio Havana Cuba play a broadcast tape backwards at the top of the hour. I mentioned this again in a recent rec.radio.shortwave thread. Usenet poster HFguy replied with this:
"The backwards tape process is/was used to send a program to another site where it was recorded. It was sent backwards so the tape didn't have to be rewound before playing it on the air."
On the subject of Radio Havana Cuba's on-time performance, usenet poster running dogg had this to say:
"Radio Havana is NEVER on time. Sometimes they'll start the hour five minutes early, sometimes five minutes late. And it's never predictable, either, they could be early for a few days, then late for a week. Why this is is anybody's guess. Maybe it's the laziness that's epidemic in communist countries. Nothing gets done right, nothing gets done on time, a lot of it never gets done at all. Everybody has a guaranteed job and guaranteed pay, so nobody feels the need to perform."