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realclearworld

Cuba: Castro mafia tightens its grip on the island’s economy

For many years I have referred to Cuba's Castro dictatorship as a mafia. This is not done for sensationalism, but because when you honestly look at how the Castro regime runs Cuba, it is run like an international crime organization. Or in other words, a mafia.

You have the family boss (the Castro brothers), under bosses, consiglieres, capos, soldiers, and so on. Everyone on the island must pay protection or risk a violent consequence. Every business deal that takes place must include the bosses and have their approval. Furthermore, everyone is obligated to kick up a portion of their earnings to the boss and if anyone is caught trying to cut the family bosses out of a deal, they are dealt with swiftly and with extreme prejudice.

And finally, no one, and I mean no one, is allowed to horn in on the Castro mafia's territory.

Via Reuters:

Cuba moves to safeguard monopoly on imported goods

A woman walks beside a private shop in Havana September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan (CUBA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)

(Reuters) - Three years after opening up retail services, Cuba tightened the reins on Thursday with new regulations aimed at stopping the sale of imported goods at lower prices than those offered by the state.

In 2010, communist-run Cuba allowed retail services in the form of 200 individual activities from clowns, seamstresses, food vendors, taxis and the building trades, to small businesses such as restaurants, cafeterias, bed and breakfasts and home-based movie theaters.

Enterprising residents have taken advantage of some of the categories, for example seamstress and household supplies salesman, to offer imported clothing and supplies in greater variety and at lower cost than the state.

Others buy out available supplies at state stores and resell them at higher prices, which is also banned by the new regulations.

Cubans appeared to oppose restricting the sale of imported goods, but support putting an end to reselling local products.

"I am against the import ban. I can't tolerate the shoddy clothing the state stores sell, they are very expensive and of poor quality," said Xiomara, a Havana nurse who like others did not provide her last name.

Continue reading HERE.

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