Havana’s El Trigal Market Reappears / Ernesto Garcia Diaz
Posted on November 23, 2013
Havana, Cuba, November, www.cubanet.org — The Cuban regime, in pursuit
of “unleashing the productive forces,” has established, through Law
Decree No. 318/2013, the new “Rule About the Commercialization of
Agricultural Products in the provinces of Artemisa, Mayabeque and
Havana.” The communist leaders say that this new regulation is directed
to eliminate the mechanisms that hinder the process of agricultural
commercialization, as well as the “quest to make it more dynamic,
efficient and flexible.”
The official newspaper Granma circulates, with optimism, various
articles about this new Commercialization System which will begin to
function this coming December. The Havana population receives the news
with despair and reservations, because it does not see substantial
changes in the scarcity of food, their high prices, or the lack of
quality and variety.
Producers continue to be circumspect because although the regulation
permits the sale and purchase of the surplus once the contracts with the
State have been fulfilled, the control and Statism that the regime
maintains make them doubt that this will happen. Also because the State
does not sell them the necessary equipment to assure the safety of their
products to their final destination.
It is reasonable to remember that during the decade of the ’80’s, in the
capital of the Island, three farmers market hubs operated: Berroa, Ocho
Vias and El Trigal. These centers have been led by the Council of the
Administration of Provincial Popular Power of Havana and the ministers
of Interior Commerce and Agriculture.
For many years, the commercial organization created facilitated the
illegal markets or “black market,” which occasioned crimes of larceny,
theft and diversion of resources, with the consequent loss of millions.
Audits and inspections by the Agricultural Ministry and other State
agencies have reflected excessive costs and alleged losses. El Trigal,
not a few times, was implicated and closed for said causes.
On the other hand, on the esplanade of 114th Street and the Pinar del
Rio Highway, belonging to the Marianao township, a wholesale
agricultural market functions in the open, attended by productive
methods, points of sale and brokers. This structure, headed by Colonel
Samblon, will close in December, and has not been exempt from acts of
vandalism and a regulated commercial organization.
The peculiar and striking thing is that the colonel mentioned, converted
into the president of the non-agricultural cooperative who will operate
the El Trigal market, will head that center under the supervision of
General Colás, according to what I was able to learn there.
The farmer’s market will offer to sellers and buyers a night service
between six in the afternoon and six in the morning. To that end, it
will rent spaces for the sale of merchandise. The entry (as much for
trucks as for persons), the loading and unloading, the weighing and
other secondary services will be leased and collected by the cooperative.
Also, the competitors will be obliged to leave the market at six in the
morning with their unsold merchandise in tow, in order to get in a new
line and enter the enclosure again at six in the afternoon. An
agonizing way of marketing, conserving and preserving perishable
products in an installation whose refrigerators are not operational! In
the daytime they will weigh the trucks that come from the provinces, for
their distribution to the basic units or network of markets.
It is anecdotal to remember when the communist ex-dictator Fidel Castro
Ruz, in August 1960, before 600 cooperative coordinators, said, “Now we
enter a higher level, now we enter into a new project, a new purpose, a
new aspiration: the aspiration to diversify agriculture.” The
ex-leader, with his “development programs,” years later destroyed the
productive and industrial base of the Cuban economy. Will we now be
journeying through the dreams and deliriums of the General President?
In summary, the new commercial organization that the regime tried to
implement will enrich the cooperative businessmen of military ancestry,
at the expense of producers, private sales representatives and the
people, who will continue enduring the experiments of the dictatorship
of the Castro brothers.
Ernesto Garcia Diaz
Cubanet, November 12, 2013
Translated by mlk
Source: “Havana’s El Trigal Market Reappears / Ernesto Garcia Diaz |
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