Cuban dictatorship operating its own ‘Amazon’ that only accepts foreign currency

While store shelves are empty all across Cuba, the communist Castro regime has a very well stocked online store where you can buy just about anything, if you have foreign currency. This is socialism in action.

Via CubaNet:

The Business of Online Stores: Who is Behind Supermarket23?

The online store where it’s possible to find everything that one cannot find in physical shops belongs to a network of companies tightly linked to the regime. It’s all part of a government strategy called “venta en frontera”, roughly translated as “border purchasing”

In early April, a waiting-line formed in Havana that extended for close to 20 blocks, where more than 1,000 people stood to have their names written on a list. This would allow them to make purchases in the future at a network that sells food products and other basic items in national currency: in Cuban pesos. People waiting on the line said they didn’t know what would be sold, or when, or if there would be enough for everyone. What is clear is that everything they were looking for was really located in one place: Supermarket23.

This webpage is the closest thing in Cuba to Amazon. It’s an online store where it is possible to find more than 1,000 different products, from meats and ice cream to any personal hygiene and cleaning products and medicines. Precisely what there is a shortage of in the country.

All you need is a couple of clicks and entering the number of a credit or debit Visa or Mastercard card associated with an account in some foreign currency, to have the items purchased delivered later in Cuba. Yes, at Supermarket23 one can find everything that is lacking in state stores, but not everyone is allowed to shop here.

In Cuba, very few people are paid their salaries in foreign currency. And domestic banks do not issue Visa or Mastercard cards.

In other words, the world of abundance in Cuba’s Amazon equivalent is only available to those who have relatives or friends abroad who are willing to pay for the products they need.

Supermarket23 is not the only online sales webpage in Cuba. In the last four years, these online stores, designed so that Cubans abroad can send their relatives food and other essential products, have proliferated, and using them has become commonplace for the growing Cuban émigré community.

However, Supermarket23 excels among its competitors. First, because of its outreach: it delivers its products practically to every Cuban municipality. Second, because it offers variety: one can find almost anything on its web. And third, because contrary to other businesses of this type that seem to be promoted by foreign businessmen, all the evidence leads us to assert that Supermarket23 is an initiative promoted by a Cuban state company: Alcona.

This entity is part of the state entrepreneurial group Flora y Fauna, a dependence of the Ministry of Agriculture. It is run by one of the last living comandante of the Revolution: Guillermo García Frías, aka comandante avestruz, or “Commander Ostrich”.

Read the entire article HERE.