If it weren’t all so dismally sad, it would be almost funny: Reuters reports on car sales at a Peugeot dealership in Castrogonia and echoes the words of Captain Renault in Casablanca:
“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
Substitute “scamming” for “gambling”: same difference. A news agency that has been promoting Raul’s “reforms” as real now suddenly feigns surprise at the outrageous prices that Castro, Inc. is asking for cars.
But don’t get too excited. There is no reform at Reuters either. Unsurprisingly, they actually found a way to spin this piece of news in favor of the Castro regime. And the spinning was done by a Canadian “Cuba expert.”
Reuters is still promoting the idea that some entrepreneurs in Castrogonia are getting rich, and suggesting that these high prices are aimed at all of these newly rich Cubans. Let’s see when they are finally shocked to discover that no such thing is happening.
Cuban hopes dashed as new and used cars go on sale
Cubans awoke on Friday for the first time in half a century with the right to buy new and used vehicles from the state without special permission, but markups of 400 percent or more quickly dashed most people’s expectations.
At the state-run Peugeot dealership in Havana on Friday morning, where prices ranged from $91,000 for a 2013 model 206 to $262,000 for a 508, people walked away shaking their heads in disgust.
“I earn 600 Cuban pesos per month (approximately $30). That means in my whole life I can’t buy one of these. I am going to die before I can buy a new car,” Roberto Gonzales, a state driver, said, walking back to his 1950s Plymouth.
The average monthly wage in Cuba, where four out of five of the 5 million-strong labor force work for the state, is $20….
Across town from the Peugeot dealership, where more than a hundred used rent-a-cars went on sale for prices ranging as a rule from $25,000 on up, disgust turned to anger on Friday.
“These prices show a lack of respect for all Cubans. What is here are wrecks. I now have no hope of getting a car for my family,” artist Cesar Perez said, looking at a 2005 Renault on sale for the equivalent of $25,000 and available outside the country on the Internet for $3,000.
A teacher looked at the price list and yelled “Are there any bicycles?” as she stomped away without giving her name….
“These prices will clearly be outside the purchasing capability of the vast majority of Cubans, even with the support from relatives abroad. In essence, they represent a luxury tax imposed by the government on the nouveau riches of Cuba,” John Kirk, one of Canada’s leading academic experts on Latin America and author of a number of books on Cuba, said by email.
continue being shocked HERE (includes more photos, too).