Friday, August 22, 2014

Reseller, That Dirty Word

Reseller, That Dirty Word / 14ymedio, Victor Ariel Gonzalez
Posted on August 22, 2014

14YMEDIO, Havana, Victor Ariel Gonzalez, 21 August 2014 – "I have
mattresses, games room, air conditioning …" an individual stationed at
the entrance to a popular store says softly. A few yards further on,
another vendor has filters for drinking water, and so it continues, on
both sides of the commercial center, an illicit network that caters to
more than a few dissatisfied customers with poor State offerings.

If you look in the stores without success, you shouldn't worry, because
outside it's possible to find everything you need from the "resellers"
for a few pesos more. Those traders who swarm streets like Carlos III,
Monte, or 10 de octubre, operating with nothing more than the law of
supply and demand. The solution that occurs to the government, far from
focusing on filling up the half-empty shelves, has been to eradicate
what they describe as "social indiscipline."

What they haven't considered, however, is granting licenses to the
traders. In fact, the word "trader" is banished from the official
jargon. Those who exercise one of the oldest crafts known to humanity
are called "resellers" and that, in the eyes of the authorities, is not
a good thing. The government accuses them of hoarding and speculation.

So far this year there have been almost 17,000 fines and hundreds of
seizures. However, the punitive measures taken so far are not enough.
"We don't have an inspector on every corner. We need help from the
public," declare some State inspectors on the TV news. The phenomenon
has gotten out of control. This not only contributes to the lack of
productivity and bad distribution on the part of the State monopoly, but
the problem also includes more than a few corrupt officials.

Source: Reseller, That Dirty Word / 14ymedio, Victor Ariel Gonzalez |
Translating Cuba -

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