Cuban Web site violates U.S. trade embargo
By CELIA PINEIRO
DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE
Posted Jan 20, 2009 @ 11:52 AM
Cuba has been trying before to make money from violating Washington's
almost 50-year-old embargo. There they go again. Now, there is a thing
called a "mallhabana" (why "mall" in English and "habana" in Spanish?)
It should be either "mallhavana" or "centro comercial habana," but in
the communist circus you never know.
The trick works like this. After decades of prohibiting the
celebration of Christmas (remember, communists are atheists), now they
have found a way to sell Cuban-made products to foreigners living
outside of Cuba — including those of Cuban origin, and of course, to
tourists visiting the island. I doubt they are Cuban-made. Instead, I
would say they are from Chinese factories. Cuba doesn't have factories,
raw material, electricity or workers, all because of a lack of money and
The communist government has created the site mallhabana.com in
association with something called Grupo Excelencias to sell all its
products priced in American dollars, with delivery within 24 hours in
Havana. Elsewhere in Cuba may take up to three weeks. To the buyers? No,
to their families or friends still living in Cuba. So, the payers will
never see the gifts. And due to censorship of communist mail and phones,
senders will never know for sure if the product corresponded to the
The list of gifts includes electronics, TVs, rum, typical
long-sleeved shirts called "guayaberas," fresh flowers and so on. I
wonder about the quality of the products, since in Cuba there is not
even enough food to feed the population. Besides, it would be funny, if
not tragic, for a Cuban family in Cuba to receive a TV set when
electricity is cut overnight for 10 hours every day due to the bad
condition of the electric system. Or to get some rum on an empty
stomach. How about flowers?
Even though this "online mall" started in August 2008, it was
recently, for the holidays, that the dragon opened its fiery breath.
Even keeping confidential the amounts of dollars made in this type of
sales, they refer to them as being in the millions of dollars.
It seems that not only is Cuba violating the embargo, but it
has found a way to make millions from the money earned by
anti-communists who fled the island many years ago and now feel the urge
to buy something for the members who stayed and live in the worst
conditions. Something like creating kind of a "feeling guilty machine"
to torture those who left Castro's Cuba and made a new, prosperous life
in the United States.
Besides, other possibilities have been banned by the U.S.
government, like visiting the island, sending money regularly, or even
trying to bring people's relatives. But communists are people who devote
their lives to creating situations where they feel like winners by
violating the law. Much more so if they can grab a handful of money
earned by anti-communist Americans who were born Cubans.
It is heartbreaking how some people don't understand that while
sending their relatives a Cuban-made gift, they are, at the same time,
giving their hard-earned money to the government who stole their
patrimonies, who made us come to U.S. penniless, who jailed and killed
hundreds of thousands of anti-Castrists.
It is a difficult situation for a Cuban-American with dollars,
I guess, not to play the role of the Three Wise Men.