HAVANA TIMES, Dec 29 — A few days ago I was taken aback when a Spanish friend asked me: “How is it possible that the Cuban government — which for more than five decades has loudly proclaimed itself to be a defender of just causes around the world — allows a multinational like Nestlé onto the island?”
It’s now the leading multinational dairy product provider in the country, selling ice cream in the network of stores that conduct business in hard currency.
Faced with that question, I went to the Internet and made a brief search on Google, where I came up with an extensive record of information about this leading ice cream seller in Cuba.
I was left speechless when I found out that what had been for me a “reputable company” has made its fortune through either massive layoffs, the cutting down of huge tracts of forest around the world and the “suffocation” of small milk producers and farmers in continents such as the Americas and Asia.
I was unaware of that situation up until that moment thanks to my bad relationship with the Internet and a national press that only addresses issues “previously authorized,” preventing us from knowing the truth about Nestlé all this time.
Who authorized the entry of such a transnational corporation in Cuba? Why did our authorities ignore the fact that around the world “consumers are increasingly looking for brands and companies that they consider have a genuine concern for social and environmental issues,” according to the Sustainable Marketing Guide?
Though I don’t have any proof, I suspect the clincher must have been the payoffs made by Nestlé to Cuban bureaucrats to grant the corporation the rare privilege of selling ice cream in hard currency in a country with next to no competition.
Though one swallow doesn’t make a summer, I promised my Spanish friend — and especially myself — never to buy or consume a product from such an inhuman transnational. I’ll do anything I can so that Nestlé goes broke in Cuba.