July 14, 2006
School uniforms go on sale, Cuban style
HAVANA, Cuba – July 11 (Juan Carlos Linares Balmaseda / www.cubanet.org) – Authorities have placed school uniforms on sale in Havana and in the process have generated long lines and other peculiarities of the Cuban system.
The press announced sales would start at selected stores July 10: two items of clothing for students starting pre-school, one item for students going into third, fifth, and eight grades, and two items for those starting secondary school.
Sales will be dutifully recorded in the parents’ ration booklet, provided they presented the student’s ID card, and the appropriate documents attesting he or she attends a particular school and grade.
But the lines, that’s where the Cuban system shines. In Diez de Octubre municipality, at one of the four stores designated to participate in the sale, a number of women, professionals to the waiting in line business, started their operation on the previous Sunday. Displaying a talent for capitalist free enterprise made possible by socialist scarcity, they established a line and started allocating places in it, reserving the best for themselves to sell when the store opened Monday at 10 in the morning for 20, 25 and even 50 pesos.
Such a model of efficiency, that socialism.