Punishing those who give us so much

They are the main diplomatic letter of Cuba, the most important source of income for the country, but nevertheless they were also affected by new customs restrictions that will come into force on September 1, 2014 Tens of thousands of Cuban collaborators in several continents will pay for the sins of other when it comes to financial and trade protection for the state.

To them, they kept only the right to import electrical appliances and other household goods from home, in greater numbers than the rest of the travelers, but they may do so only at the end of their “mission”.

“I am a teacher working in Ecuador by an agreement between universities. In my case the new regulations do not affect me much, “Ernesto, professor at the University of Cienfuegos, in the south center of the archipelago explains.

“Although there are reductions in the amount of items and change in prices, quantities are acceptable. Maybe we can point out some specific items, if the personal goal is ‘supply’ the family with things that are not there or are of poor quality, “he says.

Instead, fellow citizens disagree more with the regulation, “How is it possible that the same treatment for employees, those who SUPPORT, well capitalized, the economy of the country?” Glenda Boza, a young journalist asks in her personal page.

“Two dozen underwear just to mention an example of the new regulation, it is not enough for those who have a mother, sisters, daughters, mother-in-law. For anyone who wants to give two to her best friend and two to her goddaughter, “claimed Boza, from the most elementary sense of familiarity and support among Cubans.

“Look at what a campaign was made here when (George W.) Bush restricted the concept of family and banned remittances and visits to cousins, uncles and other relatives had no the closest consanguinity!” Alberto, a self-employed barber always aware of the reality reflected by the traditional media, recalls.

“For me this is also a way to affect family relationships, because in some way they are forcing me to discriminate who I help or make gifts to,” he reflects.

Although still most Cubans are not familiar with the high degree of specificity of the new list compiled by the authorities to clarify at what amount considered importing a product on “commercial basis”, some transcended examples have brought out expressions of annoyance.

“Right now I just leave in Brazil 15 pairs of shoes, I planned to bring on a trip for my two children, my husband, my grandson and my daughter. According to the new limit of five then I will only be able to bring for myself the footwear I will have on while entering the airport, “said a Cuban doctor located in the State of Pará, as part of the program Mais Medicos.

“Wanting to give that amount away is not consumerism, but ensures quality of life for my family. For that I am so far from my own people, to give them comfort, and one that I access is to buy good and cheap shoes while in Cuba they sell bad and expensive, “she explains.

The black market is not supplied by medical aid workers but those who enter containers every month without Customs noticing / Photo: Raquel Perez.
The black market is not supplied by medical aid workers but those who enter containers every month without Customs noticing / Photo: Raquel Perez.

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