From Doorways to Catalogs

Private businesses must clear out their merchandise before December 31.

In an album for weddings there are photos of blouses, pants, shoes. They aren’t good photos, but you can see the labels and brands, which is most important to the buyers. They have everything: evening wear, tennis outfits, socks for teenagers, sportswear, underwear. Most of the goods come from Panama and Ecuador, but they also come through Terminal 2 at the international airport. So-called “mules” bring them on flights from Miami, and also through Nassau and the Cayman Islands. Ephemeral fashions, trendy colors, synthetic fabrics, big names painted on the fabric, it all fills the precarious catalogs displayed door-to-door.

The so-called private “boutiques” or “trapi-shopping” (‘trapi’ comes from the word for ‘rag’), have been hit hard legally in recent weeks. After becoming a growing phenomenon in the country’s most central doorways and streets, they’ve now been given an ultimatum to clear out their merchandise. They have until 31 December to sell what they already have in stock, but 2014 will be “a year free of imported clothing sales by the self-employed.” That privilege will be enjoyed only by State stores, where a bathing suit can cost three-month’s wages. Merchandise that is old, poor quality, and out of style, meant the government stores couldn’t match the more modern and cheaper offerings provided by the private sector.

Reluctant — or unable — to compete, the Cuban State has put an end to the business of “trapi-shopping.” Several of the best-known and air-conditioned places have already closed their doors to the public. Some have invested in redecorating their living rooms to receive their customers, having seen that their prosperous business days are numbered. However, as happens in a country with so many prohibitions, some are already looking for a solution to the current crisis. For now, they are shifting from doorways to catalogs; from on-site sales to in-home shopping. No law can stop people from looking for what they need. So they will go underground, continuing to sell skirts, shorts, sandals… with that aura, so attractive, of the new and forbidden.

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75 thoughts on “From Doorways to Catalogs

  1. Tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 12 – Tweetazon & Protest using #DontVoteCuba so the the Castro dictatorship wont be voted to the Human Rights Council of the UN!
    Tuesday, November 12, 2013 – 9:30am in EST
    Not Cuba, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria and Vietnam in the Human rights Council.
    These countries violate the rights of their own citizens in their countries. They beat, stoned and kill defenseless women. They stoned, hit, beaten, imprisoned and killed men and women who claim their human rights in their own countries.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/668098336556276/

  2. I’m sure Yoani would love me around her neighborhood, Mr. Nick.

    Do you accuse all of Castro’s critics of being pedophiles?

    This is very strange because pedophiles from around the world love Castro’s Cuba.

    Also strange is that these accusations started right after I condemned the Child Sex Trade in Cuba, which seems to have upset you.

    Or do British fascists accuse their critics of pedophilia to shut them up? Won’t work on me, Mr. Nick.

    If you’re interested in Canadian pedophiles caught in the act, check out James McTurk carrying a portrait of Che.

    Just Google it.

    Also Google “Psychological Projection”

  3. The Filthy Creature That Describes Itself as Neutral thinks that Canadian paedophiles are not to blame for their activities.
    It tries to blame a third party.
    That is so very, very sinister.
    I’m sure Yoani, a Cuban mother, would not want this creature lurking around in her neighbourhood.

  4. There Nick goes again.

    He said he never read my posts. Another of his lies.

    Why don’t you tell us about what you are up to in Cuba?

    Since you refuse to condemn Castro’s Child Sex trade especially.

    How about the truth for once?

  5. I think that the remarks from ‘The Creature That Describes Itself as Neutral’ fall into 3 broad categories:
    1. Clueless, nonsensical, drivel.
    2. Offensive.
    3. Sinister to point that they would make anyone who is objective and can put two and two together somewhat concerned as to this creature’s preferred activities when it goes to Cuba or indeed when it makes its sly little journeys to any other of the less well off parts of the world.

  6. I have little tolerance for fascism but am a very peaceful and forgiving person.

    I wish no harm on people who, from the comfort of their socialist armchairs, support the gassing of children or the killing of little old ladies dressed in white or terrorism in the middle east.

    There are too many hateful lying scumbags in the world, and to sink to their depths of hatred would poison my life.

    However, if we are afraid of criticizing such fascist scumbags for fear of becoming one of their targets, we become part of the problem.

    Given Nick’s constant lying about what I post, I have no doubt about what violence this “pacifist” is capable of partaking in, if not inflicting in person.

    How does a “pacifist” support a murderer like Castro anyway?

    That is a question for his psychologist friend.

  7. Nick,

    The guy who celebrates the gassing of children in Syria on this blog.

    The guy who celebrates the assault of little old ladies carrying gladiolas…

    Seems obsessed with bringing Canadian pedophilia into this conversation because I condemned Castro’s and Nick’s support of Child Sex Tourism in Cuba.

    Is there no depth to which this lying scumbag will go?

    And didn’t Nick say he never reads my posts?

    I said guys like Nick took part in the ritual murder of poor Cubans in Cuba and I seem to have touched a raw nerve.

    Either Nick is lying about spending a “great part of his life” in Cuba, or the guy really does have blood on his hands.

    A lot of these “pacifist” “socialist comrade” types paraded and cheered while Castro’s police beat poor Cubans to death in front of them.

    But I guess they consider those repudiation rallies a type of “anti-imperialist pacifism”

  8. Hank,
    As I understand it Jefferson’s fine document was all about throwing off the yoke of imperialism.
    From the time that the USA hijacked Cuba’s own war of independence up until 1959 the USA exerted imperialist rule over the island of Cuba.

    Then they were kicked out.
    In 1959 the essence of Jefferson’s document once more came to the fore:

    ‘……it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security..’

  9. Hank,
    The drafting of the Declaration of Independence was a huge step forward for the inhabitants of the 13 states which then made up the Union.
    As I have said previously on here in my opinion this document with its proclamation that ‘all men are created equal’ and are endowed with “certain unalienable rights” was also a huge step forward for the human race as a whole and one of the defining moments in our history on this planet.
    But Hank you preceded your excerpt from this fine document with:
    ‘…..the prisoners incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, some of whom are accused of planning and executing the murder of over 3000 people…’
    ‘…some of whom are accused with….’ ??????????????
    Hank, can you not see how this ‘some of whom are accused with’ remark goes 100% directly against the core values and principles of Jefferson’s fine document from the 1770s??
    As I have asked you before Hank:
    Why is it that when it comes to anything related to Cuba, your ‘Democrat-ness’ flies out of the window and evaporates into thin air??

  10. Oh and I’ve just noticed my name mentioned in another clueless comment from the creature that refers to itself as as Neutral.
    Has anyone heard of a concept known as psychological profiling?
    This is when a criminal (for example a serial killer) is at large and the police employ the services of a psychological expert to build up a likely profile of the fugitive.
    Now it just so happens that I have a dear friend who is studying this branch of psychology.
    Out of curiosity I showed her a few comments written by this creature that describes itself as neutral.
    After reading that this creature managed to sadistically get the phrase ‘gassing children’ 7 times into 2 posts and then reading this creature’s condoning of Canadian paedophiles, she suspected something sinister could be deduced from reading between the lines.
    She posed the following question: is blaming Fidel Castro for Canadian paedophiles actually a simple case of someone deflecting blame?
    And judging by some of this creature’s comments, she couldn’t help wondering what sort of activities this creature gets up to on it’s visits to Cuba.

  11. ADVICE TO CUBAN GOVERNMENT:
    Cuban inmate Remon Arzuaga has decided to refuse food. He is not mentally sick.

    We should repect his wish to die. Every human being has this right. The fact that he has commited cirimes does not give anyone the right to force feeding.

    Cuban prison oficials know very well to walk the thin line between harsh and inhuman treatment. But if this case gains high publicity I have the following advice to the cuban government:

    Give visas to the guards from the Guantanamo prison, those who specialise in force feeding. Make them meet the inmates family. Give them access to the prisoner. And then say:

    YOU SAY CUBA IS INHUMAN? FINE. TREAT HIM THE GUANTANAMO WAY.

  12. Or the killing of Cubans in person, I should add.

    If sicko Nick is telling the truth and spent a large part of his life in Cuba, then I am sure he took part in the repudiation rallies that often included the ritual slaughter of a few Cubans.

    Let us not forget the blood on the hands of “socialist comrades” who moved to Cuba and took part in these repulsive events.

    They watched Fidel’s police kill poor Cubans in front of them and did nothing except cheer on Fidel.

    Some of them actually picked up bricks and took part in the killings at Mariel and other “repudiation rallies”. Their victims include old ladies who could barely walk.

    No wonder they do nothing except talk about bad ole USA. Look in the mirror first please.

  13. Hank,

    These nuts will always compare a Cuban pacifist to a Taliban baby-killer because they have no rational arguments to support their beloved fascism.

    So they talk about Guantanamo or a homeless person in New York or an obese person in Texas.

    They just can’t answer an honest question about Castro or Cuba.

    It is “socialism or death” for these nuts, but never their own death. Just the deaths of Cubans, which they enjoy watching over the internet.

  14. Actually all the inmates at the US base have been tried by a justice system infinitely more fair and honest than the kangaroo courts that Castro created.

    Most of the inmates at Guantanamo were the equivalent of SS extermination officers.

    I fully support the US government letting them die. Keeping them alive is a disgrace.

    What sort of sicko would support the blowing up of school girls in Afghanistan? Or killing someone because his beard is too short? Or raping and torturing a woman because she didn’t cover her face enough?

    An anti-American sicko, the same type of sicko who supports the gassing of children in Syria, that’s who.

  15. WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL: Keep the human rights abusers off U.N. council

    IN RECENT WEEKS, an imprisoned Cuban human rights activist and rapper, Angel Yunier Remón, known as “El Critico,” has been on a hunger strike against his incarceration, and is reported to be near death. An innovative artist with an underground following among impoverished Cuban youth, he was jailed March 26 after an altercation at his home staged by Castro’s goons, a gambit to coerce him into silence. But instead he has been resolute, and fought back.

    Recently, friends and supporters organized a campaign in social media to call attention to his plight. But the pace of repression in Cuba is not slowing. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation reports 909 political arrests in October, the highest in months. Many of those detained have been part of the “Ladies in White” movement, wives and mothers of political prisoners who are arrested on Sundays as they walk to and from Mass.

    In an expression of rank hypocrisy, Cuba is seeking a seat on the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council. The General Assembly votes Nov. 12 for 14 new members . Recently, Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of the Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, who died in a suspicious car wreck last year, appealed to the body to reject Cuba, noting that death threats, arbitrary arrests and violence are routinely used to repress dissent.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/keep-the-human-rights-abusers-off-un-council/2013/11/09/8d259f78-47f4-11e3-a196-3544a03c2351_story.html

  16. VERY BIG DEAL FOR THE CUBAN OPPOSITION INSIDE THE ISLAND! AND A HUGE FUACATAAA!!!!!!!!!!! AGAINST THE CASTROFASCISTS!!

    MIAMI HERALD: ‘Incredible night’ as Obama meets Cuban dissidents in Miami – by Juan Tamayo

    President Barack Obama told two of Cuba’s leading dissidents in South Florida Friday that he admires their sacrifices, a rare White House recognition of the peaceful opposition on the communist-ruled island.

    “The most important thing here was the recognition by the president of the United States, the most powerful democracy in the world,” dissident Guillermo Farinas said minutes after the meeting.

    Farinas, spokesman for the Cuban Patriotic Union of Cuba, and Ladies in White leader Berta Soler met with Obama during a fund-raiser at the Pinecrest home of Jorge Mas Santos, chairman of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF).

    Farinas said the two dissidents urged Obama during their private meeting to ensure that any negotiations on the future of Cuba include the opposition on the island as well as exiles.

    They also counseled the president to listen to dissidents, because they are the ones who live on the island. Fariñas and Soler have both advocated tough U.S. sanctions on Havana until the government moves toward democracy.

    Mas Santos told El Nuevo Herald that the president listened to the dissidents, “encouraged them and spoke of his admiration for their sacrifices.”

    Meetings of U.S. presidents with dissidents from any country have been historically rare, although Vice President Joe Biden received Soler in the White House last month.

    Both the Ladies in White and Fariñas have won the European Parliament’s top human rights award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of conscience. The women won it in 2005 and Fariñas, who has staged more than 20 hunger strikes to protest abuses, in 2010.

    “Unquestionably, this has been an incredible night,” Fariñas said. “This has been a triumph for the entire opposition, above all for democracy in Cuba, for those who are on the island and those outside, those who died trying to get out and those who live outside.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/08/3740537/incredible-night-as-obama-meets.html

  17. THIS LETTER APPEARED IN SPANISH LANGUAGE MIAMI NEWSPAPER EL NUEVO HERALD AND IT HAS BEEN TRANSLATED BY CAPITOL HILL CUBANS. NOT ALL MEMBERS OF THE BLACK CAUCUS ARE BLIND! I CAN SEE Marabu IS SERENADING US AGAIN WITH THE “BAD OLD U.S.A. AND GITMO” DITTY! HE REALLY NEEDS TO LEARN A NEW SONG!

    CUBA’S UNFINISHED CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS – by U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson – Thursday, November 7, 2013

    The Cuban Revolution was supposedly about equality. While the island’s economy is dismal, food is often scarce, and political rights are limited, everyone—in theory—is supposed to suffer equally.

    So what about the Afro-Cubans?

    In contrast to the US and other open societies, Cuba’s black citizens are, to this day, unable to raise their voices and organize to challenge a system that’s stacked against them.

    This is personal for me. As a lifelong civil rights activist and advocate for women, I was devastated to hear the story of Damaris Moya Portieles, an Afro-Cuban democracy activist and leader of Cuba’s Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights.

    Again and again over the past three years, Damaris has been harassed, beaten, and sexually violated by Havana’s political police. Her two-year-old boy and six-year-old girl have been assaulted and arrested.

    Just after I met with her colleagues in the Afro-Cuban Pro-Democracy movement in Washington in September, I learned that Damaris’s home was ransacked and that she was again taken into custody. Her crime? Questioning racial progress in Cuba and organizing for change.

    Afro-Cuban intellectual Roberto Zumbrano summarized the situation well in a New York Times op-ed earlier this year. “To question the extent of racial progress was tantamount to a counterrevolutionary act,” he wrote. “This made it almost impossible to point out the obvious: racism is alive and well.” In something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, Zumbrano was fired from his job as editor at a state-affiliated Cuban publishing house as soon as the article was printed.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE OPINION LETTER!

    http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/2013/11/repwilson-stand-with-cubas-afro-cuban.html

  18. There ae hunger strikers in every prison on this planet. It is very hard to admit “I am criminal”.

    In Guantanamo though, innocent people are on strike. No court ever has sentenced them, not even a biased US-puppet military court.

  19. The rapper Remon Arzuaga, nickname “The Critic”, was sentenced to eight years in prison without a trial charged with “resistance” against the Castroit regime. On October 15 in protest against the sentence he started a hunger strike. His wife told Fox News Latino “He is not going to eat. They have to make a decision, it’s freedom or death. If he dies, we both will blame the Castro brothers and the Cuban government.”

    The words of Fidel Castro return like a boomerang to haunt him and his tyrannical regime. On September 15, 1981, Fidel Castro gave the opening speech at the 63rd conference of the Interparliamentary Union, which was held in Havana. Here it is from the “horse” mouth:
    “The stubbornness, intransigence, cruelty, insensitivity before the international community of the British Government faced with the problem of Irish patriots on hunger strikes until death, remind us of Torquemada and the barbarity of the inquisition in the middle ages.
    Let tyrants tremble before men who are capable of dying for their ideals after 60 days of hunger strike! What were Christ’s three days in Calvary, an age-old symbol of human sacrifice, compared to that example?

    It is high time for the world community to put an end to this repulsive atrocity through denunciation and pressure!”

    Indeed it is. This is one of the few times that I totally agree with the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
    Cuba Archive has documented thirteen cases of death by hunger strike of prisoners dying for their ideal in prison under the Castroit regime.

  20. OK!! SO HUNGER STRIKES ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR LEFTIST CHICANOS BUT NOT FOR THE ORDINARY CUBAN PEOPLE?? HMMMM! ENLIGHTEN ME Marabu! PLEASE!!! YOU KNOW THAT THIS “COPY AND PASTE QUEEN FROM CALIFORNIA” CAN COME UP WITH MORE LEFTISTS HUNGER STRIKES EXAMPLES DEAR!!

    The day following the faculty center occupation, a series of rallies was held by MEChA, The United Community and Labor Alliance (a coalition of Mexican American activists and community leaders, labor union representatives, and immigration advocates in Los Angeles), and other students, culminating in a hunger strike on campus. Among the participants of the hunger strike were student activists, community supporters, and a UCLA faculty member. Due to the widespread community mobilization and support, and the intervention of Latina/o California congressmembers in holding up funds to UCLA unless departmentalization was approved, this struggle eventually resulted in the establishment of the Cesar Chavez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, which represented a significant victory for the protesters in essentially gaining all the rights of departmentalization though without the name. The Center was named after United Farmworkers leader Cesar Chavez, and transitioned into a full fledged campus department in 2004. UCLA is also home to a separate UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and Library.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicana/o_studies

  21. Chicano Studies Activists Begin Hunger Strike at UCLA – May 26, 1993
    Several activists who have been pushing for the creation of a Chicano studies department at UCLA began a hunger strike on campus Tuesday.

    Six students and one professor, who began their protest fast near the administration building, vowed to stay until they extract a promise to create the department.

    “This is not a symbolic act, this is not a political statement. Either we get a department of Chicano studies or you will see us die before your eyes,” said Jorge Mancillas, a professor at the university’s medical school.

    The seven protesters said they will not leave their tents, pitched hastily early Tuesday. They said they will be joined by another 30 students who will fast in two-day shifts.

    UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young said in a statement that “the university will do everything possible to insure the health, welfare and safety of the protesters by providing extra security and medical attention as necessary.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/1993-05-26/local/me-39893_1_chicano-studies

  22. OK!! SO HUNGER STRIKES ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR LEFTIST CHICANOS BUT NOT FOR THE ORDINARY CUBAN PEOPLE?? HMMMM! ENLIGHTEN ME Marabu! PLEASE!!! YOU KNOW THAT THIS “COPY AND PASTE QUEEN FROM CALIFORNIA” CAN COME UP WITH MORE LEFTISTS HUNGER STRIKES EXAMPLES DEAR!!

    Chicano Studies Activists Begin Hunger Strike at UCLA – May 26, 1993
    Several activists who have been pushing for the creation of a Chicano studies department at UCLA began a hunger strike on campus Tuesday.

    Six students and one professor, who began their protest fast near the administration building, vowed to stay until they extract a promise to create the department.

    “This is not a symbolic act, this is not a political statement. Either we get a department of Chicano studies or you will see us die before your eyes,” said Jorge Mancillas, a professor at the university’s medical school.

    The seven protesters said they will not leave their tents, pitched hastily early Tuesday. They said they will be joined by another 30 students who will fast in two-day shifts.

    UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young said in a statement that “the university will do everything possible to insure the health, welfare and safety of the protesters by providing extra security and medical attention as necessary.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/1993-05-26/local/me-39893_1_chicano-studies

  23. Here are some extraordinary words written in 1776 by brave men who lived under much different circumstances than the people of Cuba today. These words are nevertheless applicable to the people of Cuba who have been ruled for much too long by a single nutty family which does not represent them and which governs using brutality, whim and decree. Paragraphs III and V are, perhaps, most important:

    I. When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    II. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    III. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    IV. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    V. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

    Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

  24. So, according to Nick, the prisoners incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, some of whom are accused of planning and executing the murder of over 3000 people in the U.S., are equivalent to ordinary citizens in Cuba who sing and write songs the Cuban dictatorship doesn’t like. Not much of a moral compass, Nick.

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