Friday, July 18, 2014

An Inexplicable Explanation

An Inexplicable Explanation / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on July 17, 2014

Customs restricts imports even more

Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 14ymedio | 14 July 2014 – On the occasion of
the latest customs regulations that further limit the products that
travelers can bring to the island, a group of officials from the General
Customs of the Republic of Cuba (AGR) held a press conference to respond
to some concerns of the population. Among the pearls exposed there, it's
worth nothing an argument put forward by Idalmis Rosales Milanes, deputy
chief of the AGR, where she tried to equate these actions with what
happens outside of Cuba. "All countries," she said, "regulate
non-commercial imports to their territory."

And it's true. What this official didn't say is that in all countries
there are other regulations for commercial imports to non-state
entities. If this weren't the case, I would have to believe two things:
that in the rest of the world all the stores are state-owned, or that
the goods for sale in them are produced entirely in the country in which
they are located. It gives the impression that this precision is for
idiots, because it's so irrational it's embarrassing to have to clarify it.

The absurdity is normal only if the entire environment is also absurd.
Whoever developed and approved these resolutions was personally
persuaded that commerce is a crime unless it is performed by the only
state monopoly that they themselves control.

Instead of developing a list detailing how many razors, pairs of shoes
or fake nails can be carried in your suitcase, it would be much more
useful to allow the importation and sale of whatever merchandise
(non-lethal) is produced in the world, and to promote its free trade by
private individuals who would be those who would assume the risk of
being left with them in their shops if they weren't able to sell them.

The law should allow the owner of a restaurant to import, in his
condition as a private businessperson, the wine, pasta and cheese
consumed by his customers. The seamstress should also have the right to
bring fabric and dyes from other countries with which she designs her
clothes, and the small trader must be able to count on the possibility
of bringing the instant glue, the sponges for cleaning, and the hair
dye, from other latitudes to the island. All this, backed and supported
by commercial permits and import licenses… in the hand of the non-state

That theses commercial imports are on a list of prohibited products,
that there is a limit of the number of admissible pieces, that a
diversified tax is imposed according to the article… all this would be
almost comprehensible and, especially, debatable. What I can't make
heads nor tails of is this "dog in the manger" conduct, which neither
eats nor allows others to eat, and in this case neither imports nor
allow to be imported; neither trades, nor allows others to trade.

Source: An Inexplicable Explanation / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar |
Translating Cuba -

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