Contraband, Cuban Style

26 Oct

Repeating Islands


This Havana Times article is an authorized translation of the original by Fernando Ravsberg (originally published in Spanish by BBC Mundo) where the author analyses the reasons for the persistence of  flourishing contraband businesses in Cuba.

As a kid, I used to sympathize with two types of criminals: those who ripped off banks without violence and smugglers. I saw them as Robin Hoods that stole from the rich and powerful, that is to say, from bankers and the State. [. . .]  These childhood memories came to me as a result of the ongoing debate in Cuba regarding whether the sale of contraband items, that is to say, products that entered the country evading official import procedures, should be prohibited. Cuba, however, is full of clothing, shoes, furniture and electrical appliances that made it to the island this way. It is something that happens all over the world. The…

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