Surprise! Price controls in Cuba causing shutdown of small businesses

From our Bureau of Socialist Utopian Nightmares

The ongoing economic collapse of the Cuban colony of Venenozuela is making Castro, Inc. scramble for its own survival, and — as always happens in Socialist utopias — one of its most recent attempts to “fix” Cuba’s economic crisis by imposing price controls is creating mayhem.

Those most directly affected by price controls are the so-called cuenttapropistas, Cuba’s self-employed entrepreneurs, who find themselves facing the impossible situation of being forced to stay in business by the government even though they can no longer make a profit — or a living — due to the fact that they have to spend more money than they can ever hope to make.

News from Cuba dribble out slowly and piecemeal. But it’s becoming obvious that the crisis caused by price controls is causing the collapse of the self-employed sector.

A few days ago, news dribbled out about self-employed taxi drivers who can’t afford to keep their cars in service. Today we learn that the same thing is happening to the cuentapropistas who run small coffee-shops.

The response from Castro, Inc. is highly predictable: it’s threatening to revoke licenses of anyone who refuses to keep their businesses open, even though they will keep LOSING money if they do so.

So, fairly soon, if this crisis is not solved, Castro Incl’s “self-employment” experiment is bound to implode and disappear.

Vamos bien! Requetebien!

Loosely translated from Marti Noticias:

The Government warned on Thursday the self-employed in the gastronomic sector of Sancti Spíritus that their licenses will be withdrawn if they do not return to offer service.

In a meeting with officials of the Administration Council of the province, the [Communist] Party and state inspectors, a group of self-employed people who prepare and sell food, and who currently refuse to work in protest over price controls, were informed that they will lose their operational permits if they do not return to work.

The self-employed “have been threatened that if they do not supply the premises they will withdraw their license,” independent journalist Adriano Castañeda told Radio Televisión Martí.

The journalist criticized the government taxation because he considers that the capped prices “are not consistent with the reality” of the cost of the raw material.

“Now a very big problem has been created (…), people say ‘I wanted these products to go down’, but now neither one thing nor the other”, and the government is desperate “because things are turning very difficult, “said Castañeda.

The current shortage in the territory in coffee shops and stalls, as well as in the agricultural markets, is critical, according to journalist Aimara Peña González.

“The issue of capped prices is giving much to talk about in this self-employed sector that today is practically out of work. The points of preparation of light foods that were everywhere in the city, where bread was bought with ham, soda, the milkshake (…) there are many closed because, of course, they can’t make a profit at all with the new prices that the government has imposed on them, “he explained.

During a recent visit to the Market Square of Sancti Spíritus, Peña González found all the stalls selling meats and vegetables closed.

The authorities of the province capped the prices of the gastronomic sector on August 15.