Don’t Expect to See Cuban Coffee Sold in the US

Despite it being authorized

by Café Fuerte

Coffee grower in eastern Cuban province.
Coffee grower in eastern Cuban province.

HAVANA TIMES — The National Bureau of Cuba’s Small Farmers Association (ANAP) – the elite of government officials who represent Cuban farmers–, kicked up a fuss in response to the decision announced by the US Treasury Department on April 22, authorizing independent producers on the island to export coffee to the United States.

According to the communiqué issued by ANAP, “no one can think that a small agricultural producer can export directly to the United States.” That is to say, if ANAP doesn’t think it’s possible, others should not as well.

“To make this possible, Cuban foreign trade companies [State] have to take part in the process and financial transactions in dollars have to be conducted, and this has not yet been secured,” the text drafted by the ANAP leadership says.


Of course, then comes what worries the Cuban government the most and makes this satellite institution express: “We are aware that the aim of these kinds of measures is to steer Cuban farmers away from our State.”

The government, however, wants control [over exports] not only for political reasons. It knows that the increase in coffee prices in the international market was substantial in 2015, bringing renewed interest among coffee growers to improve their plantations. This is why the price paid growers for a 5-gallon can of green Arabica coffee beans went from 50 to 160 pesos and the can of Robusta beans from 40 to 106.

There’s a series of paragraphs and propagandistic phrases in the document that are finger-licking good.

Let us take a closer look at these declarations of “revolutionary honor.”

Patriotic Commitment

“Since then [1959], the Cuban government has implemented a production, economic and social development program for farmers in our country and has guaranteed assistance for production, access to credit, a reliable market for agricultural products and other social benefits.”

“Small Cuban farmers are not afraid of change, provided these are impelled by us.”

“Cuban farmers ratify our fidelity to our revolutionary State, before all risks and challenges, and we will continue to build a prosperous and sustainable form of socialism, for everyone and for everyone’s benefit, fueled by the patriotic commitment of continuing to produce for the people.”

“Next to the workers and our entire people, we are facing up to the intentions of imperialist policy, to bring about division and disintegration in Cuban society, which is what they would seek with the recently announced measure.”

So, there seems to be no deal when it comes to ANAP’s coffee. The decision has already been made by the farmers in the Bureau who live in Havana.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Expect to See Cuban Coffee Sold in the US

  • Cuba cannot even supply sufficient coffee to provide for its own citizens. The consequences are that packed coffee is imported from Spain, which although not a producer itself, imports from Brazil and Columbia, packs and then re-exports to Cuba. El Rapido has a couple of cafes in our town, but supply of Cubita the promoted brand on some of the chipped and cracked cups is intermittent. In consequence one can visit to purchase a cup of coffee to be unable to do so, whilst at the same time looking at Spanish packed coffee sitting on the shelves. A further problem is that even when coffee is available, one of the cafes has on several occasions been unable to provide cups of coffee because there is no water. Although we being a non-tourist community may be without coffee, Cuban coffee is invariably available in Jose Marti International Airport and for example in Trinidad in a shop that is kitty corner from the Iberostar Hotel.
    Historically there were over fifty coffee producers in Terrazas, but now there are none. The socialist system of a state controlled economy is a dismal failure, but the Castro regime and Marino Murillo in particular go blindly on pursuing their imaginary dreams. Agriculture only progresses when individual producers are able to utilise their talents without the type of restrictions imposed in Cuba. The economy of a country is based upon its ability to produce and wishful thinking by the socialist/communist hierarchy can’t change that. With its incredibly low labour costs, Cuba ought to be able to rapidly increase production of many different products, not just the obvious agricultural ones. The plants which produce the school uniforms could add other clothing to their products for example – but then maybe that explains why the regime permitted Chanel to block off a chunk of Havana to promote fashion. Maybe that is why two of Fidel’s sons and one of Raul’s daughters were amongst the privileged guests. Maybe! Es Cuba!

  • The next step of course is that the nephew or some other close confidant of the ANAP leadership will be given special dispensation to contract directly with an American coffee buyer. The revolutionary propaganda is BS. The problem is that the ANAP leadership want their cut.

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