14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada, Havana, 31 October 2016 – For weeks, astonished and laughing faces have surrounded the display windows of a candy shop in the Plaza Carlos III shopping center in Havana. The excitement has come with the sale, for the first time at that center, of the Italian-made Ferrero Rocher chocolates. However, a box with 80 wrapped pieces costs 68.25 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC), the equivalent of three months’ salary for a professional.
For those who just want a quick taste of the treat, there is an option to buy a box of three for 2 CUC, still high for a country where the average wage doesn’t exceed 25 CUC a month.
The arrival of the exclusive delicacies generates curiosity and cries of alarm among customers, but also a certain doubt among employees about the possibility of marketing merchandise at such high prices. Three months after they went on sale, the only ones buying them have been “foreigners, but we’ve only sold six or seven boxes,” according to a clerk at the establishment.
“I couldn’t even dream of buying them,” says a lady who has joined the group raising their eyebrows at seeing the figure affixed to each box of Ferrero Rocher. Rather than a store, the place looks like a museum these days, with an exposition that combines sugar with the absurd.