Resellers Lying in Wait

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

Selling shots of coffee to get by.

HAVANA TIMES — The area in Old Havana on and around Monte Street is where the resellers concentrate.

Many of them come from the more economically depressed eastern Cuba and have settled in Havana in whatever way they could.

In search of a better life, we can see them there all day long on the sidewalks ecstatically touting their wares.

Or you can find them in long lines buying food that they’ll later resell to those who are unable to obtain such items because these are on sale during their work hours or because of the resellers hoarding all those products.

The method of the resellers is simple:

If a product comes on market at a relatively affordable price, they’ll monopolize the purchases at any cost – even violating the law.

This is because sometimes, to prevent such speculation, restrictions are placed on selling more than a certain amount of a product to any one person. However the corruption that exists in the businesses themselves put the brakes on any type of state control or regulations.

This short writing isn’t an attack on anyone for trying to eke out a living, but is a call to focus attention on these practices, which aren’t recent inventions or anything unique to Cuba, but they do noticeably affect the daily life of ordinary people today.

What steps are taken with respect to these people? I don’t know.

All we know is that more and more of these resellers are lying in wait, and like a religious sect they help and protect each other.

The solution isn’t to put them all in prison, because others will simply replace them.

Nor is the solution to fire clerks and salespeople who provide them with exorbitant amounts of products.

The solution must involve a change in the infrastructure and thinking, one that benefits the people who actually produce goods in this country to satisfy the millions of needs and wants of the nation’s consumers.

Would that be some kind of utopia?