CUBAN GOVERNMENT TO SELL FREEZERS
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
According to linguists it is common and natural for words to take on different meanings as time passes, because of nature of language and its interaction with society. No, this is not a philological essay, but I feel it’s necessary to start with this explanation when I begin a blog about Cuban mules.
In Cuba mules are of course the animal that is created when you cross a horse and a donkey. But in Cuba it is usually something else entirely. In Cuba a mule, mula, is a person who travels between Cuba and other nations with the sole purpose of bringing merchandise back to Cuba. This practice usually takes place between Cuba and the United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama, or Peru, and the items that provide the highest margins are household goods like refrigerators, freezers, and stoves.
These stores are a great benefit to Cubans for three reasons, prices, warranty and service. When you purchase these items from a private “importer” they come without a warranty or service contract, and the price is higher than at the government stores.
The Cuban government has apparently been watching this growing commercial market, which it says generates approximately 12 billion US dollars in sales a year and decided in October 2019 to eliminate these private profit seekers and sell these goods itself. A total of seventy stores will supposedly eventually open across the island to sell these items. The stores, however, will not be open to everyone. In order to even enter the store, you must first show your credit card issued by Cuba’s central bank specifically created for use in these stores. You must go to a bank and deposit foreign currency, US dollars, Yen, Euros, Canadian dollars, and then you are issued you debit card that grants you access to the hard currency stores.
Among the products currently on sale are washing machines, refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioners, and electric scooters.
The euphoria is here to stay, the lines are long and sometimes seem endless, so much so that linguists could conduct studies of them.
By Dina GomGar