Fernando Damaso, 25 December 2016 — Some official journalists, who seem to be following orders from on high, have taken against the self-employed and their prices, which they consider too high for the ordinary citizen.
Of course no one has written a single line or even a word about the prices in the state sector, which are much higher than those charged by the self-employed.
It is no secret to anyone that the Ministry of Finances and Prices fixes prices, two, three, four and many more times above the cost of the products, usually of low quality, which are produced or imported and sold in the network of State stores.
The case of Haier refrigerators, which are purchased at rock bottom prices in China, due to their obsolete and discontinued technology, are sold to Cubans at elevated prices (and in addition you can only get one if you trade in a working refrigerator for which you are not given a single cent), constitutes the palpable demonstration of a shameless scam.
The Haiers, without spare parts and without any ability to repair them, break down and languish in houses whose inhabitants haven’t even finished paying for them.
DVD equipment, TVs, air conditioners, rice cookers, “Queen” pots, electric cookers, exploding coffee pots and other poor quality articles at high prices, are added to the long list of official robberies. The same thing happens with dozens of plastic items, which the state buys at ridiculous prices and sells as if they were made out of gold, silver or porcelain.
With regards to these outrages, which affect and bleed the pockets of ordinary Cubans, official journalists remain silent and complicit and, if questioned, repeat that healthcare and education are free, something completely false, because both services are paid for by every Cuban, with what they don’t receive for their labor in their miserable wages.
This reality is very difficult to hide. If anyone has any doubts, make a tour of the hard currency stores and — why not? — also those that sell in Cuban pesos, where a single screw costs three pesos, one brush eighty, a gallon of emulsified paint 85 to 120, and enamel paint 280, and so on.
Distinguished journalists, here are the abuses to the pockets of all citizens and not just ordinary ones.