As Cubans suffer food shortages and stand in long lines for a few morsels to feed their families, the communist Castro dictatorship is marking up frozen chicken by 700% in its dollars-only stores. This is socialism in action.
Government making 700% profit on chicken sold in dollars
State-owned stores offering merchandise in hard currency (MLC) are selling frozen chicken at more than a 700% markup from what the Cuban government pays the U.S. According to a tweet by Osmany Garcia Zaldivar, a Physical Sciences Ph.D. and investigative professor at the University of Havana, the Palco store in the capital sells a whole chicken weighing 2.4 kilograms at $21.70, which comes out to $8.80 a kilogram.
In his tweet, Garcia Saldivar sarcastically criticized the fact that while authorities undertake frequent campaigns against line holders and resellers and state-run media blames them for all the bad situations, among them shortages and inflation, the government is selling products in its stores at prohibitive prices.
For economist Pedro Monreal, “selling a basic food in Cuba such as chicken at $8.80 a kilogram in a state-run store is an absurdity.”
“We don’t want to hear anything else about centralized planning or any other similar inconsistencies,” Monreal added in a Twitter post.
The government justifies its pricing policy on imported goods by citing the costs of logistics and transportation, among other things. Nevertheless, it’s an exaggeration the chicken it buys from the U.S. is sold at seven times the cost.
Monreal himself reported on Twitter that in December 2022, the price per kilogram of chicken the Cuban government purchased from the U.S. was at $1.26.
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