Cuba’s ‘Fight Against the Coleros’ Continues, Despite Official Announcement in Havana to the Contrary

A store in San Nicolás street, between Zanja and Cuchillo, in Centro Habana. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerHavana, Juan Diego Rodríguez, 1 December 2022 — Although the Government of Havana insisted that the Lucha Contra Coleros (LCC) [Fight Against Coleros*] operations would end as of this very Thursday, a tour of the capital shows that the measures are still in force. In Plaza de Carlos III, for example, the LCCs were working normally. “But hadn’t they said that they were going to shut down the bandits?” asked a customer at the doors of one of the stores in the mall. “I wonder the same thing, when are they going to remove them,” replied another.

And this, explained a resident from Centro Habana, despite the fact that last month the new system announced, which requires each shopper to have a card or ticket that identifies them, was already im place in the municipality. The cards distributed to each person or family include the name of the purchasing establishment, the ID number of the bodega (ration store) and the details of the family nucleus and its number of consumers.

In a store on San Nicolás street, between Zanja and Cuchillo, where they announced that they would put chicken out for sale, the “cash” of the fight against coleros was also at the door. The same scenario was found in the establishments of Cayo Hueso, where the LCC conversed with a police officer in the most natural way.

In Luyanó, in the store on Melones street, at the doors of which the death of an elderly man occurred, which uncovered a network of corruption between the employees of the establishment and the controversial LCC, the new “chief” of the operation told this newspaper that she did not know when the newly announced system would launch.

“All this is going to take at least fifteen days,” assured the employees of another business in Luyanó, in Concha y Fábrica. The people of Havana were stupefied this Thursday: “But then why did they announce anything?”

Translator’s note: A line or queue in Cuba is called a ’cola’ (literally ’tail) and ’coleros’ are people who others pay to hold their place in line, lines that can be hours, or even days, long.


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