The private business Fress, in Havana, has not only closed its new premises in Plaza de Carlos III, but also the restaurant that opened more than three years ago in Miramar. The company has also disappeared from the pages where it announced the sale on-line at home
A Cuban voice responded to the telephone that appears at the entrance of the premises in the municipality of Playa on Wednesday: “At this time we are closed, at least for two weeks.” A worker in the area, where numerous embassies are located, explained to this newspaper’s reporter that he went to the place: “they haven’t opened for days.”
Meanwhile, in Carlos III, where he sold dairy products and jams, Fress is also still closed this Wednesday, despite the fact that the employees had assured that this Tuesday it would reopen its doors just as a cafe. From the outside, you can see all the exhibition counters, full and bright just a few days ago and now completely dismantled.
From the outside, you can see all the exhibition counters, full and bright just a few days ago and now completely dismantled
On Monday, just three days after its inaugurationthe premises woke up closed “due to technical problems”, according to the workers themselves and an ostensible poster, which this Wednesday continues to be stuck in the window.
According to what two workers from the Plaza assured that day 14ymedio, “They held an emergency meeting here in Carlos III due to criticism on social networks, and starting tomorrow they can only sell processed food.”
Another worker asserted that “they had ordered to close from above, from the Government”, due to criticism of the resale of products such as condensed milk, which was sold for 250 pesos in the premises a few meters from the Plaza supermarket where it costs 35 , or the cheese gouda at 4,000 pesos a wheel of three kilograms, which is only found in foreign currency stores.
If the opening of the store caused outrage among its first customers, who were dismayed by the extremely high prices of products that are much cheaper in state stores in the same shopping center, its closure caused a debate on social networks between supporters and opponents of the decision.
“Shamelessly a store that formalizes resale at parallel market prices (coleros resellers), a sovereign impudence, like so many things (stores in MLC, with their extremely high prices, etc.),” user Juan José Rodríguez Casacó criticized on Facebook.
The user Héctor Danilo Rodríguez got into a discussion with him, who reproached him for “sovereign impudence” and “sovereign envy” and assured, with an air of knowledge of the matter, that “nothing that was offered in that place is for resale nor from state stores”, but “imported products purchased in hard currency that will be offered, as in few places, in CUP”.
“None of what was offered in that place is for resale or from state stores”, but “imported products and acquired in hard currency”
“Go ahead and set up a private business and you’ll see how much you have to pay for raw materials, and we’ll see what prices you put on what you offer,” said Ariel Rodríguez Boza, reasonable, demonstrating knowledge of the basic laws of the economy and defending to the entrepreneurs of Fress, who “work honestly as does any owner of any business in the world.”
In addition to lamenting that “we must put up with private businesses becoming rich at the expense of the sweat of many whose salary is not enough to eat,” the complaints were more directed at the double standards of the system, which while allowing some to establish this type of company, others are prohibited.
“This is not a normal country to do business, and if you do business in this country you are benefiting a dictatorship and contributing to the suffering of the Cuban people,” added another commentator, who asserted that the profits from such a business “are not legitimate ” in Cuba, where the vast majority do not have the opportunities that exist in “countries with open market systems”: “Here it works differently and you know it: corruption, bribery and favoritism in the circles of power.”
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