Even Snow Cone Vendors Can’t Escape Persecution in Cuba

The vendors were approached by two plainclothes inspectors, a man and a woman, while operating on Arbol Seco Street. (14ymedio)

It didn’t matter that they had a license to sell their snow cones, the police said pushcart operators are required to keep moving

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – Three vendors selling snow cones near a Havana shopping mall will each have to pay a fine of 1,500 pesos, the equivalent of 60 of their products.

The individuals were operating on a strategic corner of Arbol Seco Street, a spot where shoppers wait in line to enter the Carlos III shopping mall, when they were approached by two plainclothes inspectors, a man and a woman. After fining them, the inspectors ordered the vendors to move to another location.

The vendors became angry not only because they had valid operating licenses but also because of the reason the inspectors gave for fining them: as pushcart operators, they are required to keep moving; they are not allowed to remain in one place. “And how am I supposed to serve customers while I’m walking,” one irritated vendor asked. “You have to stop, even if it’s for five minutes.”

Another visibly irritated vendor had to be calmed by someone who seemed to be his wife, telling him not to argue with the inspectors: “Look, you’ll pay the fine and you’ll go on, so don’t worry.” Uniformed police officers also intervened to defuse the situation, telling him, “Just go over there, to Manglar Street, to the other side.”

After moving a few blocks away, the first vendor returned to the spot where he had been fined. “I don’t care. I am going to keep selling shaved ice for 25 pesos here because I have a license. And if they don’t want me stopping here, I’ll move to another corner,” he said.

Translated by Translating Cuba


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One thought on “Even Snow Cone Vendors Can’t Escape Persecution in Cuba

  • I had the same problem when I had a cart selling Italian ices in New York City a few years back. I was threatened with 100 dollar fines if I didn’t keep moving. I quit because it wasn’t worth it anymore,

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