“El periódico ha de estar siempre como los correos antiguos, con el caballo enjaezado, la fusta en la mano y la espuela en el tacón.  Debe desobedecer los apetitos del bien personal y atender imparcialmente al bien público”.
José Martí
 

Price Gouging in Havana after Irma

chang-mercado-precios

These days I feel like I was living in Europe. I just bought one mango and half green at that, for the equivalent to US $2 at the market at B and 19th Streets in Vedado and street vendors in my neighborhood raised the price of a strand of onions to $8.

Undoubtedly, the passage of hurricane Irma is an excellent time to speculate, raising food prices in the face of the greater need of the population. This trend will continue to rise as long as the lost crops do not reach the markets.

People can accept suffering the blind assaults of nature but it seems excessive that afterwards they are also forced to undergo the crude laws of the market, especially when these laws protect a merchant that is dedicated to the buying and resale of crops.

I know a “peasant” who “works” buying onions during the harvest from the real peasants, stores them in a giant refrigerator that he built on his small farm and resells them when the season passes for 10 times higher.

Following the passage of Hurricane Katrina (2005) even the United States, champion of the free market, intervened “placing price ceilings on food and building materials, among other things because of some business people didn’t show solidarity with their fellow men and women.”

So what happens in Cuba? Prices of basic food products in government supermarkets are still taxed at 240%, and resellers marketing products from the countryside, are trying to multiply their profits at the expense of people’s suffering.

Translation: Havana Times

About Fernando Ravsberg

Nacido en Uruguay, corresponsal de Público en Cuba y profesor del post grado de “Información internacional y países del Sur” de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Fue periodista de BBC Mundo, Telemundo de EEUU, Radio Nacional de Suecia y TV Azteca de México. Autor de 3 libros, El Rompecabezas Cubano, Reportajes de Guerra y Retratos.

 
 

One thought on “Price Gouging in Havana after Irma

  1. en el blog elestadocomotal de Peter Monreal hay un buen análisis sobre el tema de la enorme distorsión del mercado de oferta y demanda con los productos agrícolas, para los que tengan dudas sobre lo que explica Ravsberg.
    Ver “Precios agrícolas en Cuba: cuando el “mal” mercado es el problema”

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