By Safie M. Gonzalez

The Plaza Marianao market.

HAVANA TIMES – To tell you the truth, I still haven’t left the house in 2021. Apparently, nothing has changed, but that is not exactly true. Some things have gone up in price, others cost the same, but if they continue to tighten the noose, things are going to explode. Honestly.

It’s no news that prices at private markets are sky-high, and well, if you can pay it, be my guest. However, something is going on at state-run markets, where prices are cheaper, yet employees are trying to get the better of the general population.

This happened to my uncle, who came to my house a few days ago and was very angry. He was upset because of those unprincipled people trying to steal the money some of us work so hard to get.

This happened at Plaza de Marianao, a state-run market, where root vegetables, fruit and spices etc. are sold. He had gone to buy chopo, a root vegetable that is a kind of malanga, and when you don’t have one, you eat the other.

A pound of chopo cost 1.20 pesos a pound via the ration booklet. So my uncle picked up as much as he needed and placed it on the scales. According to the seller, the scales indicated that it was almost 11 kilograms, a little over 24 pounds, costing almost 29 pesos. My uncle paid for his chopo, but he was not happy with the situation. He went to complain to somebody else who seems to be the “manager” of this agro-market. This woman weighed the chopo again and the real weight was only 6.8 kilograms, almost 15 pounds and costing 18 pesos.

The alleged “manager” looked at the chopo seller, he knew that he was going to get told off. However, it was clear that this wasn’t the first time that he had tried to rip off a customer. The worst thing is that after what my uncle saw, we are both convinced few people pick up on this ruse.

So, the woman told the seller to give my uncle 10 pesos back. This came without any explanation or telling him to take greater care. That was the end of it. This seller in Plaza de Marianao will continue to rip off, alongside his manager, any innocent soul that passes by his stall. Because in the end, the rope always breaks at its weakest point.

Read more from Safie M. Gonzalez’s diary here.


Safie M. Gonzalez

I was born in the 80's. I love nature and animals, as well as my country. I admire the sacrifice of a people. I consider myself a simple and honest person, therefore I detest injustices. I have a taste for the arts in general, but especially for literature, photography, and cinema. I believe in the power of the word and in the ability of the human being to change the world.

2 thoughts on “Unpunished Theft in Today’s Cuba

  • Richard, I answered you by email.

  • Enjoy your article not the rational for this brief to be told.
    I have an on going yarn that involves a guy me getting ripped big time for $20,000.00 USD. It involves a street girl or two , getting into the casa safe and making off with $$$.
    And of course it involves me and the very oddest of police investigations/reports. If you want more info simply ask , however, I would request my true name not be announced during the early stages. The police are still so they say trying to get to the bottom of all this. So let me know please one way or the other.

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