Awwwwww. Visitors to Castrogonia are suffering from beer withdrawal.
As usual, the Castro mafia has all sorts of excuses for the beer shortage plaguing their island slave plantation.
“Delayed imports of malt barley” — yeah, that’s it! (Why the delay? Don’t ask. Someone at the Ministry of Import Monopolies screwed up. Or maybe the lack of payments caused the delay.)
“Hoarding” by privately-run restaurants — yeah, that’s it. Hoarding. The ever-present danger of capitalist vultures, who argue unreasonably for the necessity of keeping products in stock for their customers.
Venenozuela is suffering a lot from “hoarding” too, and “delayed imports.”
The anonymous author of this piece says that the state-run brewery has a “virtual monopoly” on beer. Does he/she know anything about monopolies? Why qualify it as “virtual”? It IS a monopoly, plain and simple. The foreign imported beers are also a monopoly of some other ministry.
And will someone please get in touch with the Treasury Department in Washington D.C.? The brewery is a joint venture between Castro, Inc. and a subsidiary of American brewer Anheuser Busch. Technically, that subsidiary is owned by Canadian brewer Labatt, and Labatt seems to be owned by Swiss chocolate giant Nestle. * (see UPDATE below)
And… did you know that members of the Castro Inc. megamonopoly list themselves on LinkedIn? Go HERE to see the profile of Juan Quintana, the Castronoid in charge of this venture. Given the current shortage, his page could soon disappear, so hurry…
…and wait…. almost forgot the worst part of this story.
Take a look at the “mascot” for Bucanero beer, Juana la Cubana. The Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins mascots seem like racist child’s play compared to this monstrosity.
* UPDATE: (Thanks to our reader Griffin):
Labatt is a Canadian based brewery. InterBrew, a Belgian corporation bought a majority of the shares in 1995. InterBrew later merged with the Brazilian brewer, AM Bev, and formed InBev. As a subsidiary of AM Bev, Labbatt signed a deal in 2003 with the Cuban state owned Bucanero brewery to modernize and operate their plant in Holguin.
In 2008, InBev merged with Anheuser-Busch to form AB InBev, which is the largest brewery in the world, controlling 25% of the world market.
Now here’s were it gets tricky: Anheuser-Busch’s shares in AB In Bev are owned through proxy stocks in a holding firm listed on the Belgian stock exchange. In this way, Anheuser Busch avoids falling afoul of Helms-Burton. This bit of corporate shadow-play allows Anhueser-Busch to claim they do not invest in Cuba nor do they earn any money from Labatt’s Cuban operation.
From AFP via eNCA (South Africa):
Cuban beer shortage coming to a head
HAVANA – Cuba has been hit by a severe beer shortage during one of its hottest summers on record, sparking hoarding and driving thirsty drinkers to pay greatly inflated prices.
A sharp fall in production at the island’s main brewery, Bucanero, at the beginning of the year has trickled its way down the supply chain at the worst possible time: the third-hottest summer since 1951.
That has caused many consumers and the communist country’s newly legalized private restaurants, or “paladares,” to stock all they can.
Bucanero makes four brands of beer: Bucanero, Cristal, Cacique and Mayabe. The company has a virtual monopoly in Cuba, though some imported beers are also available, albeit at a large mark-up.
“It was an odyssey to find beers for a going-away party Tuesday,” one Chilean expatriate said.
“I covered half of Havana going to supermarkets, gas stations and liquor stores before I finally had to buy them at a restaurant” — where he had to pay 15 percent higher prices,” he said.
Cuban media said the problem was caused by delayed imports of malted barley in the first four months of the year.
That hit production at Bucanero, a joint venture between the Cuban state and brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, and reached consumers just as summer set in.
“Now in the summer more than ever, you go to look for a cold beer at this moment when you needed it the most, and you can’t find any,” said an agonizing islander interviewed on local TV.
Cuba has registered average temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit) this summer, according to the national meteorological institute.
Media reports said the beer problem had been exacerbated by hoarding by consumers and the “paladares” that have flourished since the introduction of economic reforms by President Raul Castro, who took over from his 88-year-old brother Fidel, the father of the Cuban Revolution, eight years ago.