Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Imported Clothing, An Illegal and Profitable Business / 14ymedio,
Yosmany Mayeta Labrada

14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada, Havana, 27 February 2017 – Regla has
spent years working in a prohibited business. She used to do it in
doorways on Monte Street in Old Havana, but when the government changed
the law to block the trade in clothes and shoes, in December 2013, she
had to find an even more discrete method. Now she maintains a point of
sale in a state-owned place that rents spaces to private workers, but
her little countertop that displays manufactured parts, only serves as a
cover to attract customers who then trade in the merchandise that comes
from countries Cubans can visit without a visa.

In the past, Regla made the clothes with raw materials “subtracted” from
the state Wajay towel factory in Boyeros, and sold them through her
self-employment license as a dressmaker.

“With that trick Regla also avoids paying a good part of the payment of
taxes on her personal income. Of the 535,000 self-employed in the
county, right now 170,000 of them must present their their affidavit,
according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Labor and Social
Security.

Among her ample catalog, Lycra pants printed with an American flag are a
stand out.

“Everything I have is better quality than in the store,” the saleswoman
explains with pride. This week she has again whispered to customers to
look at her merchandise in the doorways, because the building where she
has her stand is closed for repairs.

Among her ample catalog, Lycra pants printed with an American flag are a
stand out. The official media have railed against this garment on
repeated occasions, but its presence in the streets continues to grow.

The police control the areas where these sellers frequently offer their
merchandise. The penalty for illegal sales includes the confiscation of
all the products and a fine of 1,500 pesos. However, the informal
sellers continue to dominate a good part of the market for clothing and
shoes to the detriment of state owned “Hard Currency Collection” stores,
as the state stores are formally named.

Yulia offers her products on Infanta Street. Mot of them come from
Russia, Guyana and Haiti. “I started traveling to countries that did not
require a visa, but for months I also bought in Haiti.” She thinks that
the Caribbean country is a good destination to be supplied from because
of the low prices of plane tickets.

This illegal market has also found its own ways of protecting itself

“I go to the home of relatives in Santiago de Cuba and I fly from
there,” she explains. “I take clothes twice as big.” This is because the
investment is lower than in the case of more distant trips, such as the
distant Moscow.

Obtaining a visa for Haiti is relatively easy for Cubans, and Yulia
recently also got the Haitian residency. Her new legal status will allow
her to expand her business. “Everyone wants pretty clothes from outside
the country,” says the saleswoman who has been in the trade for seven years.

This illegal market has also found its own ways of protecting itself. To
the cry of “water!” the informal sellers of Monte Street hide their
goods or vanish on some stairs. It’s the code to warn that the police
are coming. When the authorities withdraw, they all return to their
places. Until the next warning.

Source: Imported Clothing, An Illegal and Profitable Business /
14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada – Translating Cuba –
translatingcuba.com/imported-clothing-an-illegal-and-profitable-business-14ymedio-yosmany-mayeta-labrada/


Related Articles:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Calendar
February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  
Please help us to to pay for more powerful servers. Thank you.
Peso Convertible notes
Peso Convertible
Archives