soon and very soon

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oh that's right...we're Communists and have to ALL live in misery...

Cuba Cracks Down On Private Produce Trade

HAVANA -- The Cuban government has launched a campaign against private produce traders at the country's only free markets as part of a larger effort to rein in capitalist tendencies, which it charges breed corruption and inequality.
Police and inspectors raided markets in Havana this week, checking papers and fining and arresting some individuals.

Similar measures in the provinces over the last few weeks have left markets bare and long lines at state markets for whatever produce and meat was available.

The government strictly controls farm production, but allows some sales on the open market after farmers meet state quotas. "The most visible result is there are less products, longer lines and prices have not declined," a professor in Central Camaguey, where the drive began a few weeks ago, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The ruling Communist party, bolstered by preferentially financed oil from Venezuela and credits from China, has taken to rolling back 1990s reforms it believes breed corruption and inequality.

The economy has been recentralized, heavy taxes imposed on family remittances and strict controls on hard currency. Of late, President Fidel Castro has railed at "the new rich" in speeches, promising tough measures to rein them in.

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