Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who says there are no capitalists in Cuba?

…or at least monopolists…in the La Vanguardia story discussed below, there’s a sidebar comparing retail prices in Cuba and Spain:

20 German sausages: 12 Euros in Spain, 28 Euros in Cuba

Paper napkins: 0.9 Euros in Spain, 2.4 in Cuba

Diapers, “10 units:” 9.95 Euros in Spain, 24.4 in Cuba

Whole milk, one liter: 0.58 Euros in Spain, 2.4 in Cuba

Carbonell olive oil, one liter: 2.95 Euros in Spain, 14 in Cuba

Red wine, “reserva:” 14.65 Euros in Spain, 25.3 in Cuba

Baguette: 0.8 Euros in Spain, 0.75 in Cuba

15 comments:

leftside said...

What crap. Anyone could pick and choose items that cost more in a particular country. Why don't they price out rum, cigarettes, a ham sandwich or any of the 20 odd basic goods found on the libreta. Or much more importantly, the price of housing, of electricity, of education, of transportation, of sporting events, of cultural events, etc.

Do they mention that milk is practically free for children under 7, pregnant women and the elderly? Why don't they mention the baguettes everyone bought for 2 pesos (10 cents) I saw everywhere? Are they ignorant that Cuban diapers are also sold for pennies to new families? Why Carbonell olive oil and not basic cooking oil? They seem to pretend the peso market does not exist.

Cuba charges more for what are considered non-essential imports (German sausages, reserva vino, etc.). The mark-up on these "luxury" goods allows Cuba to sell imported (basic good) rice and chicken for next to nothing. It has nothing to do with monopoly or not. It has to due with designing a price system that allows basic needs to be met.

Antonio said...

Good thoughts, leftside. I would be curious to see a comparison of the prices of those products between Cuba and a place like the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, as opposed to Spain. Just my $.02

Anonymous said...

On Planet Leftside, governments can design "price systems."

Anonymous said...

Simple questions:

How much is a surgical operation in Spain?

How much a cancer therapy?

In Cuba are free.
Additionally:

How much cost to keep a mornachy and useless king?

Anonymous said...

The prices mentioned in La Vanguardia article were also listed in CUC so easy comparisons could be made to US$ prices both in the US, and PR/DR/etc. Leftside is correct in pointing out that the prices ignore the subsidized (libreta) prices but he ignores the fact that many of the items in the list are only available at the CUC stores. Fresh milk is not available for anyone over the age of 7 who is not disabled or sick so paying over US$6 for a gallon of fresh milk appears excesive (It may reflect that milk prices are not heavily subsidized as is the case in EU or USA).

As far as other comments about "free" healthcare, education, etc. it should be pointed out that none of those services are free. Their costs are not directly paid by the beneficiaries. They are paid through a financial system that is not transparent and that is permanently in deficit. This price structure and the general scarcity of consumer goods are two of the most glaring failures of the Cuban Revolution. They are not unique to Cuba but appear to result from command economies everywhere. Why does the National Assembly operate a supermarket belongs under a "Figure this One Out" title.

As far as Spain having a "useless King" I would remind everyone that King Juan Carlos singlehandedly put down the Tejero coup by refusing to go along with it. That man did more to preserve democracy in Spain that every other politician before or since that fateful day. He earned every Peseta and euro that he gets. Every leftist in Spain should be grateful that there was no coup in Spain then. Their lives depended on it. Then again if the Spaniards decide to arrange their political system another way, that's fine with me but they are not justified in turning out a King that fought for the right to do just that.

Vecino de NF

Anonymous said...

Oops, wrong FX conversion! The price is CUC 3.20 for a liter of WHOLE milk not FRESH milk. Also the price per gallon should be US$13.83 per gallon (CUC 3.20/liter x 4 liters / .9259 CUC/US$) not US$6 per gallon. That is beyond appearing excessive. It is downright price gouging for a good that should be produced nationally.

Vecino de NF

Joel said...

- Oh, and what's the price children older than 7 years pay for milk?
- It's free!
- Really why?
- Oh, they get none. Castro's regime is so ineficient they have to import powder milk to at least give something to younger kids.

Anonymous said...

Leftside is correct about the abundance of food for the Cuban people. Of course, a few imported luxuries have a high price. Cubans don't need or want such vanities.

The same conditions exist in Cuba's magnificent medical system, where frivolous luxury items, such as aspirin, antibiotics and xray film, are usually unavailable in the hospitals (except, of course, for important people such as the nomenklatura and medical tourists.)

So give e'em hell, Leftside! We rely on you to be the voice of reason on Phil's comments section.

leftside said...

Anon, you have no clue as to Cuba's reality today. You are pretending the "special period" is still around. Asprin and antibiotics are most certainly available.

Anonymous said...

Leftside,

Do you think that US$13.83 for a gallon of milk is excessive considering that unless you are younger than age 7, or sick there is no other way to get milk?

Vecino de NF

leftside said...

Yeah Vecino, of course $14 is too much for a gallon of milk. But that is the hard currency price and not an even remotely accurate one (multiplying a liter cost x 4 does not equal gallon price anywhere. Liters cost $1.75-$2.00 here x 4 = $7-8 - nearly double the actual cost for a gallon).

But I acknowledge there has been a problem with general milk consumption over the years (again those who need it get it for next to nothing). Cuba recognizes this and in April, began considerably upping the amount the State pays farmers for milk (as well as beef and other goods). This is an effort to reduce selling "a la izquierda" and increase it in affordable State outlets.

Meanwhile, in many Latin American countries milk is not affordable for 1/3 of the population. And without welfare (WIC) millions of US families would not be able to afford it either. I am sure millions not eligible for WIC struggle to buy milk for their kids.

Anonymous said...

Leftside,

Please publish the name, address, and telephone number of anyone that can not afford milk for their children in the United States, and I will personally make sure they get the milk either at school or at home! Also please let me know where you are paying $2. per quart of milk, and your zip code and I am sure that I can direct you to a less expensive place!

The fact remains that anyone in Cuba who wants milk and who has not been sanctioned as "needy" by the Cuba government has to pay about 10 days of average salary for the equivalent of a gallon of milk. Comparison to other Latin American countries will not get a single drop of affordable milk to a single Cuban who wants it!

Vecino de NF

Muadip27 said...

It is obvious none of you are Cuban. I am a Cuban American, and I experienced true Socialism/Communism which the left in the U.S. is begging for...

BTW milk is NOT free in Cuba...you have to buy it through your "libreta" if you have a child in your family and only until age 7.

The Cuban government claims that after 7 yeas old kids don't need milk, and btw, milk is not abundant in Cuba either, and neither is food abundant in Cuba...

i still have family in Cuba and my parents and myself have to send them money, and medicine because they cannot be found in Cuba.

That BS story of Michael Moore about going to a Cuban pharmacy and finding a drug chearper in Cuba is BS. That was set up by the Cuban government and with the consent of that ahole of Moore.

The only hospitals that are well stocked, and have all the latest technology are the few reserved for the Cuban Communist elite and for tourists...

I have an uncle who is a doctor, and an aunt who is a doctor in Cuba. Another aunt is a nurse, and a cousing who is a dentist, and last time I visited my family in 2001 things were just as bad, if not worse.

While in Cuba one of my fillings fell out as I was eating dinner with my family, and my cousin took me to her office, but they didn't have amalgam, which is the only filling that exists in Cuba, and it is very scare as everything else.

BTW, education, and healthcare is not free in Cuba. Children starting from 11-12 years old and until they graduate from segundary, or when they graduate from the University, and until then they have to serve EVERY summers for 45 days in what are hard labor camps, or what the left and the Obama administration is now calling in the U.S. "Community Service for the good of the nation"....

These kids, and young adults have to harvest vegetables, tobacco, sugar and other resources which for the most part are sold, or sent to other nations where "the revolution" is being shoved down people's throats by idiotic revolutionaries.

Another thing...this lie that "the Cuban people don't want, nor do they need the luxuries we have' are delusional, not to mention lying....

Muadip27 said...

continued

I had to watch as one of my aunt was crying when we were able to take her, and some of my cousins and other family members around tourist stores, and my aunt was watching all the games, shoes, and clothes she could not buy to her children and she was suffering for it...

My parents and I went to Cuba with full bagages, and we came back only with the clothes in our backs because my family in Cuba didn't have clothes...

I also gave a cousin of mine my watch, and to another i gave a pair of binoculars i brought with me. That was the first time they saw through binoculars...

The people in Cuba WOULD LOVE to be able to have, and to buy the things people can buy in Europe, and in the U.S...

BTW, there are many Cuban girls, and even boys, and men that have to sell their bodies to selfish Europeans, Canadians, and even Americans and other tourists that love to take advantage of the situation in Cuba, even minors have to do this, and they do it just for a meal, and maybe a pair of shoes....

These people are disgusting, egotistical, aholes who don't care about anyone else but themselves, and such people come from all over the world including Europe.

And of course the Socialists, or even Communist who like to claim that economic system is the best in the world are delluding themselves, and don't want to see the reality of true Socialism/Communism....

In true Socialism/Communism you give up your INDIVIDUAL rights "just for the good of the revolution"...

True Socialism/Communism tries to make robots out of people, and try to suppress any sort of spiritual path...

At the end, and like always, when power is given to the STATE, even when they claim they represent the people, this only turns that nation into a Communist dictatorship. This has happened dozens of times and will continue to happen for as long as true Socialists/Communists try to shove their agenda, and lies down everyone's throats, more so ignorant people who ahve never experienced true Socialism/Communism.

Muadip27 said...

BTW, most of that money goes to the Cuban governemnt, and not to make better the lives of regular Cubans, but to make better the lives of the Socialist/Communist elite in Cuba...

There are some businesses from europe, and other parts of the world in Cuba, and yet NONE of these help the Cuban people, yet the Leftists claim it is all the fault of the U.S., which is BS of course...