La Borla, a well-stocked Centro Habana store in the past, converts to MLC

La Borla, a well-stocked Centro Habana store in the past, converts to MLC

the state store the tasselin Havana, has joined the long list of businesses that sell in freely convertible currency (MLC).

The establishment, located on Galiano street, between Salud and Reina, in Centro Habana, was divided into two last week, so that the space usually open to the public is now destined for sale in hard currency. Next to this, another place, where the store offices were, has been converted into a counter that offers products in pesos.

The first, spacious, clean, air-conditioned, was well stocked this Wednesday, as is often the case in newly opened shops on the Island, and only housed a dozen customers. The second is a small and dirty space, in front of which a long queue turned into Calle Reina to buy chicken and “guts” for assholes, disposable padding for diapers.

In the midst of the tumult, on this hot Havana morning, a fight broke out, as often happens, which had to be contained by the police. One of the waiting customers was even arrested. Several agents stayed to guard the place afterwards, to avoid further disputes.

“I don’t know how, with all the opinion against them, they continue to be brazen, closing stores in CUP and converting them to MLC,” protested a young man who did not want to enter the part in foreign currency. Although the offer was varied and attractive, full of products that are not found in pesos, vinegar, dry wine, olives or jams, the prices are prohibitive for most Cubans. Cans of tuna, for example, were at 13 MLC; a spread for snacks, about 4.

They also sold whole chicken, at 8 MLC. A woman who had bought six pieces framework in line again so I can buy more. “It is that to get the chicken by the book, the least you have to wait is three months,” recalled the cashier at the foreign currency counter, referring to the restrictions established by the provincial authorities last may to buy in state stores, which also supposes an “organization by cycle” that prevents a “new cycle” from starting until 90% of the family nuclei assigned to the assigned establishment have made their purchase.

One of the customers waiting in line at La Borla was arrested after a fight.  (14ymedio)

A man attracted by the attractive currency counter wanted to stay, until he realized that he could not buy in national currency. “But they already did this in MLC too?” He exclaimed, putting his head in his hands. “Yes, sir,” a girl replied. “Despite the protests, the displeasure of the people, they don’t care. They are fulfilling a plan. They are going to continue opening until there are no more in pesos, it’s incredible.” The man turned and followed in his footsteps.

La Borla was for years one of the best-stocked stores in this area of ​​the municipality of Centro Habana, a few meters from one of the most important public transport nodes in the city, the Parque de la Fraternidad. But the shortage of supplies, the Ordering Task and the restrictions due to sales cycles turned the crowded store into a place with empty counters and employees with their arms crossed.

Its transformation into a currency store was only a matter of time, and it is to be hoped that the phenomenon will spread to others, such as nearby Flogar.

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