Thursday, July 01, 2004

Cuba: No budding capitalists, please

HAVANA, June 28 (Reinaldo Cosano Alén / - The manager of the Taca agricultural market in Guanabacoa, across the bay from Havana, evicted nine self-employed green grocers, leaving area residents with no place to buy their produce.

"Now we have to walk up to five miles, because public transportation is horrible, to buy at the old market, which is where they have stuck the sellers from Taca," said Ada, a local housewife.

One of the merchants, Orlando Monet, said he had been selling corn and ground coconut out of the Taca market for five years, and added: "No one understands the reason for evicting us. I know people have sent hundreds of signatures to the Communist Party, and to the government, asking that they let us back, and there has been no reply."

The only stalls left open at the Taca market are four government-run stalls. On Wednesday last week, the only items available in the whole market were: chick peas, at 12 pesos a pound, rice, at 3.50 pesos a pound, and small heads of garlic at 2.50 pesos.


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