With food shortages plaguing the island nation and the quality of what little is available getting worse, the Castro dictatorship continues raising prices. Socialism is “abuse as a form of government.”
High prices and bad quality: abuse as a form of government
Leaders talk a lot about “monitoring” and sanctioning price gouging by private vendors and stores. But who protects us from the government? The prices in state-run stores were arbitrarily and indiscriminately raised without anyone having the power to stop them.
There is also no one around to ensure the quality of the food. Instead, inspectors dedicate themselves to fining private vendors and soliciting bribes. They don’t care one bit about the welfare of the people, but only to “resolve their own problems.” Meanwhile, with impunity the State sells products and food of low quality that don’t correspond to their high prices. For example, humid and smelly rice at 7 pesos a pound, old beans at 14 to 16 pesos, and vegetables covered in dirt, which serves to increase its weight and therefore its cost.
A neighbor complained: “The government is to blame that private vendors have raised prices and that there isn’t any food because they sell beans that are hard and bad quality. I’d rather pay 30 to 40 pesos to a private ventor who sells them fresh. Besides, what I save buying beans from the State I’m going to spend in cooking gas trying to soften them.”
What aggravates the food crisis is not only the shortages at the State-run food producers, but also the regime’s attacks on private vendors who sell food. Two days ago when a friend was buying good quality fresh cucumbers from a private vegetable cart, two women arrived — one an inspector, the other dressed in olive green — showed their IDs, and took the vendor into custody before my friend could finish her purchase. The situation, which has extended for too many months now, causes some to suspect: “What they want is to force everyone to make purchases in dollars, that’s why they don’t sell anything in CUC or let private vendors sell food.”
Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.