Informacion economica sobre Cuba

The Return of the Loanshark to Cuba
Posted: 08/15/2013 6:16 pm

They don’t have their own places, but they flourish everywhere. They
lend money at interest, facilitate loans, and charge the same in cash as
in goods and services. They are the new moneylenders. After being
stigmatized for decades, these banned bankers have returned without
licenses or pity. They offer everything from small amounts to thousands
of convertible pesos, although the latter is only for very reliable
clients. They operate in areas they know well; they know how much their
neighbors make in wages, whether they receive remittances from overseas,
or if they have some other source of income. Starting with this
information, they distinguish between those who will be “good for it”
and those who won’t. Although there can always be surprises. The great
nightmare of these “usury experts” lies in the customers’ intentions to
board a boat and be smuggled out of the country, without returning to
them what is theirs.

Other situations can be resolved with pressure and threats. When a
debtor is overdue in his payments, the lender feels that the time has
come to teach him a lesson.

Edward was watching television last Saturday when they knocked on his
door. Two burly men pushed past him into the house and one of them hit
him in the face with his fists. They took the stereo and left, but not
before warning him, “You have 72 hours to pay back El Primo… if you
don’t, we’ll be back and we won’t behave so nicely.” The victim could
not go to the police, because, from the beginning, he preferred illicit
credit, without possible complications. He spent the next three days
selling some of his home appliances and going into debt to friends so
that he could repay the loan. He also prayed a little that El Primo and
his henchmen might be raided for the great number of crimes they commit.

María, however, obtained a loan of 10 thousand pesos from the
Metropolitan Bank. She needed to fill out endless forms and present
written evidence of her employment. She planned to use the money for
construction materials to remodel her old house. She felt satisfied to
have gotten the sum legally, although now any paperwork she fills out
includes the information that she is in debt to the State. Others, who
could not meet the requirements, had to accept the conditions and
interest rates of their neighborhood moneylender. More than one client
has had to pay with favors from her own body when the repayment date has
come and gone; more than one family has had to deliver a refrigerator or
a car, because an irresponsible member thought to ask for money they
could never repay.

As necessary as he is slandered, the moneylender is just one link in the
illegal financial chain of our reality. Cautious when giving, implacable
when collecting.

Source: “The Return of the Loanshark to Cuba | Yoani Sanchez” –

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