What blockade? $50 Spam and $13 condensed milk: sky-high prices for American goods in Cuban stores

Vulture market in Havana

From our Bureau of Socialist Equity and Social Justice with some assistance from our new Bureau of Vulture Markets

A new term has been coined in Castrogonia: “vulture markets” (mercados buitres). These are stores that sell American products at exorbitant prices. And these are not high quality goods. From the looks of it (see photos), these are bottom-of-the-barrel products with brand names unknown in the U.S.

What distinguishes these vulture markets from dollar stores is that they accept Cuban pesos.

Vulture markets are run by the Castro, Inc. monopoly in cahoots with “entrepreneurs”. Apparently, the grossly inflated prices are not preventing Cubans from buying food at these stores. Keep in mind, please, that the average salary in Castrogonia is only $145 per month. That will buy you about three cans of Spam at one of these stores.

Aaaah. The beauty of remittances from capitalist nations! Aaaah, the beauty of socialism in action! Aaaah the beauty of parasitic economic relationships!

Vulture market prices: 100 pesos ($4.22) for a disposable lighter, 900 pesos ($38) for 10 ounces of coffee

Loosely translated from Marti Noticias

In the midst of one of the worst economic crises of recent times in Cuba, the appearance of what are popularly called “vulture markets” in different neighborhoods of the capital scandalizes citizens desperate to bring food to the family table.

The Ideal market chain, establishments that sell food and articles from the artisanal industry or state cooperatives in Cuban pesos, has become centers for the sale of imported products. These retail markets are managed by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and food from non-state management must be sold in them.

“The daily malaise is skyrocketing with the appearance of these “vulture markets” which is how the population has baptized them, because in them there is a complicity of legal personalities of private management with state institutions”, denounced the activist Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna .

In one of these stores, the one located at 23 and C in Havana’s Plaza municipality, they set up a stand this Wednesday with products made in the United States.

The supply of US products is such that many Cubans believe that the economic and commercial embargo on the island, imposed by the US, has already been lifted, as Madrazo confirmed.

“Neighbors wonder at what point the blockade was dismantled that US products that cost a fortune for the common pocket can be marketed in the country: A can of condensed milk, 320 pesos ($13); a pack of La Llave coffee, 700 ($30) pesos; a can of spam, 1,200 pesos ($50)”, questioned the activist.

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

1 thought on “What blockade? $50 Spam and $13 condensed milk: sky-high prices for American goods in Cuban stores”

  1. Needless to say, this can only work by way of money sent by the “diaspora” to people in Cuba. Vamos bien.

    And yes, this is flagrant, undeniable price-gouging, but at this point the regime is more interested in being maintained than in being admired. Besides, it knows the usual suspects will remain willfully blind or eminently “understanding,” and it couldn’t care less what its adversaries think.

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