Scheduled power cuts do not spare even profitable businesses. This Monday, the Shopping Center of 3ra and 70, in Miramar, Havana, suffered it three times. After the power went out for the first time, they started a generator set, but it quickly died. The second time, they turned on a second plant, which also stopped working right away. The third time the blackout came, there was no auxiliary equipment to put in, and the store was completely dark.
The explanations of the employees did not mitigate the disgust of the clients. “With enough dollars they extort money from people here, so that they don’t have electricity,” a woman protested loudly. Meanwhile, other workers shouted to get closer to the boxes closest to the showcases, the ones that could reach natural light.
“You can’t record here, please, you damage the image of the store,” a cashier told a young man who took out his cell phone to photograph the dark aisles. “Maybe the image of the store is not very good,” the boy replied.
The supermarket on 3rd and 70th is one of the largest in the city that sells its products in hard currency. It was also one of the first stores to be dollarized when the economic relaxations of the 90s, and around it there are many embassies, diplomatic houses and the homes of more affluent families, so it is considered a business with a somewhat exclusive.
But not even this location and the particularity of its consumers have saved the place from shortages, fights in the queues and the deterioration of its installation. To avoid seeing the semi-empty shelves, the Center’s administration places the same product repeatedly, a very frequent practice in Cuban state stores. This Monday, the sequence of cans of the same vegetable or the row of mustard jars tried to hide the reality that not even these markets have a wide variety of merchandise.
The butcher shop area was the one with the fewest options. If it hadn’t been for the products from private businesses, the local refrigerators would have been practically deserted, devoid of dairy products, frozen foods or the long-awaited boxes of chicken quarters and breasts, which are in such high demand in a country where no one knows when it will return. encounter certain foods.
This Monday, at one point and to the displeasure of the buyers, the employees sent them out. Just when almost everyone had left, the current returned, and the people stampeded around. “The light is back, the light is back!”
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