Entering, Buying and Leaving, the Great Achievement Advertised by State Businesses in Cuba

“You should have called all the world’s news agencies. For the first time, good treatment was discovered in a Cuban store.” (Facebook/Caribbean Granma Stores)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Daniel Wilt, Holguín, 1 September 2022 — The Facebook page of Tiendas Caribe de Granma [Caribbean Shops of Granma Province] delighted readers on Tuesday with an unusual “story of the day.” The text began by clarifying that what was coming really happened, in a store in Bayamo, and that “the words used were exactly the same.”

Next, the story presented “a young customer” who went to the El Arte store, in Bayamo, to whom “instantly,” an extraordinary event happened: “The workers of the place welcomed her as she deserved,” because, it clarified, “at that moment she was the only one who was passing by there.” This detail wouldn’t cause a peep out of the people from Bayamo, because it’s one of the stores with the lowest influx of buyers in the municipality.

Without at any time revealing a spirit of mockery in the publication, the story continued: “The young lady walked in and was very interested in one of our garments. She went directly to a spandex dress of polyester, with a white color and fringes, very much in tune with the summer season.”

And it reproduced an excellent dialogue.

“I want to try a size 7.”

“Yes, of course, I’ll show it to you right away, and you can use the changing room in that corner so you can see it and choose the one that suits you best.”

Satisfied, the customer went to the cashier “to make the payment.” Then, the clerk “proceded to accept the payment.” With this, “the sale was successful, and the clerk gave her the receipt and put the merchandise in a plastic bag.”

After being told goodbye by the employee with a “thank you for your visit, come back soon!” the young woman, the only person in the store if we look at the narration, was subjected to the scrutiny of the receipt by the doorman, to verify the merchandise that was bought, and “to review and ensure the integrity of the shop.”

It wasn’t long before the publication, offering the story as “an example of a sale to a customer with great success and satisfaction,” was plagued by humorous comments that laugh at presenting an anodyne act like buying something in a store as an unprecedented achievement. continue reading

“This writing seems too short to me. The author got the exclusive scoop out of all the world’s news agencies. For the first time, good treatment was discovered in a Cuban store,” one mocks. “The tension, the mastery of language, the development of the characters… sublime,” says another, and one of many adds, giving free rein: “I think it’s a very beautiful composition. I was eager to know more. What would be the dramaturgical continuity of the story? What did her mom tell her when she got home with the spandex dress of polyester? What dreams materialized with her dress? Under what armpit did she transport it, by bike taxi, to her abode? With which bra (the latter bought in what other state store?) did she combine it for her Sunday walk? Please, don’t delay in giving us the rest of the story, so we can keep on living.”

“As we are in prehistory, we don’t know how to communicate and are learning. This is the first class on Customer Service. Thank you. I’m waiting for the second one,” says Madelaine Verdecia Enamorado.

Jotabarrioz, for his part, jokes: “Top 5 Cuban clients with the most luck in the world,” and others, such as Yaneth CM, get serious: “The clerk did nothing more than fulfill her position profile. I don’t understand the merit. The truth is, the only thing these publications promote is mockery.”

There is no shortage of those who, in the ten photographs that accompany the writing, all with smiles and in color, observe suspiciously that everything is a fiction. And certainly, only the words “once upon a time” are missing for the unforgettable, almost fantastic adventure in the socialist paradise of the Caribbean, of a correctly made sale.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Three Injured When a Kamaz Truck Falls into the Sea in Manzanillo, Cuba

The truck “had difficulties in the air system,” which caused the driver to lose control and plunge into the sea, Radio Bayamo said. (Facebook/Eliexer Pelaez Pacheco)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Daniel Wilt, Holguin, 9 June 2022 — Three people were injured in an accident in Manzanillo, Granma province, when a state truck, of the Russian brand Kamaz, fell into the sea at daybreak this Thursday. The vehicle came from the municipality of Niquero, in the same province.

As reported by the provincial radio station Radio Bayamo, the truck “had difficulties in the air system, which caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle and when descending a slope, it hit a final section of the Manzanillo malecón and plunged into the sea.” In photos shared on Facebook, the seawall of the malecón can be seen destroyed at the height at which the vehicle collided.

In photos shared on social networks, the wall of the Manzanillo boardwalk can be seen destroyed at the height at which the vehicle collided. (Facebook/Radio Granma Manzanillo)

The three injured were taken to the Celia Sánchez Manduley Provincial Hospital and are not at risk. Leandro Pérez Ramírez, 50 years old and a resident of Niquero, and Yuri Moreno, 34 years old and from Manzanillo, have complex multiple injuries and are reported to be stable, Dr. Ulises Guisado Mestre explained to Radio Bayamo.

The third patient, whose name is not mentioned by official sources, is in better condition, explained the same doctor.

A worse accident occurred this Thursday afternoon two kilometers from the Havana checkpoint, where a man died and another was injured.

As reported by users on social networks, the deceased was identified as Óscar Moya, from the town of La Luz. Eander Fernández Monzón, survived with minor injuries; he lives in Venegas, in the municipality of Yaguajay, Sancti Spíritus.

This Thursday, Cubadebate published official data on highway accidents, according to which “for every 14 accidents in Cuba there is one death.” The note indicates that, on average, two people die a day due to road accidents and about 30 are injured, in approximately 27 accidents. continue reading

Just between January and May of this year there have been 4,062 traffic accidents, almost half of the total number for 2021.

The data was revealed at a press conference by Colonel Mario Ríos Labrada, head of the Vehicle Registration Department of the National Traffic Directorate. The military man stated that the total number of claims have marked an increase, to date, compared to the last two years.

By provinces, the official press also indicated that Holguín and Camagüey stand out with the highest number of victims and average deaths per accident, without specifying the numbers.

Regarding the causes, Ríos said that 89% of the accidents are caused by the human factor, not having control of the vehicle, not respecting the right of way and driving at excessive speed. Then there are the mechanical problems and driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages. With regards to the latter, the authorities say that this behavior was found in 242 drivers, and is on the rise.

According to the official press, there is also an increase in the deterioration of the streets of Cuba where at least 333 potholes or breakages have been reported, which have already caused deaths in accidents. Such is the case of Yunior Tabares Magdariaga, 21, who died when he and his motorcycle fell into a hole in Calvario street, in the city of Santiago de Cuba, in March.

Another concern is the risk of being run over in the street, because of every six people run over in accidents, one dies. According to official figures, the number of people killed on Cuban roads – a large part of them pedestrians and cyclists – increased by 24% in the last year, reaching 589.

The days that account for the most victims are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while the most dangerous hours in terms of traffic accidents are between 6:00 in the afternoon and 8:00 at night. Accidents have been the fifth leading cause of death in Cuba for several years, according to official data.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.