14ymedio, Havana, August 21, 2020 — This week the Cuban Telecommunications Enterprise S.A. (Etecsa) began the sale of cell phones in dollars, and restricting the method of payment to debit cards only.
14ymedio confirmed with customer service in Havana that Etecsa has only two places where you can buy the phones with debit cards: the Cubanacán business office in Naútica, Playa, and the one at 17th and Y, in Vedado. It specified that these are the only places “at the moment” and that the offer they have now is an Alcatel cellphone at $65 and another at $165, with a warranty of three months.
In some images shared on social networks, the equipment they are selling in hard currency comes accompanied by several accessories like a Micro SD card of 16GB, in the case of the $65 cellphone.
The news, which has been spread through company channels, has generated criticism from users on Twitter and Facebook.
The activist, Jancel Moreno, points out: “#Dollarization. Etecsa begins the sale of cellphones in USD,” and asks at the same time: “What will be the next thing that can you can buy with the money of the enemy?”
Eblis López Guerra, a customer, asks, responding to one of the company’s tweets about the next promotion for an international recharge: “Why today is the sale beginning of cellphones in USD in Guantánamo? Where was this announced? Who said it? It shows a lack of respect on the part of @ETESCA_Cuba”, he complained.
López explains that he only earns 310 Cuban pesos a month (about $12) and wonders: “Where am I, a worker, supposed to get hard currency?”
Last July, the Cuban Government opened shops for the sale of cleaning products and food in hard currency. This type of business began to function at the end of last year, in an attempt by the Government to raise income from abroad, given the lack of liquidity in the national economy, but at that time it was only for the purchase of home appliances.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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