Nearly 500 private companies closed in Cuba for not offering electronic payment

Nearly 500 private companies closed in Cuba for not offering electronic payment
Nearly 500 private companies closed in Cuba for not offering electronic payment

Madrid/In less than three months, 476 establishments have been closed in Cuba for failing to comply with the rule that requires them to offer customers an electronic payment method. The information was offered by the Minister of Internal Trade, Betsy Díaz Velázquez, this Wednesday, in a new Round Table program in which it was planned to inform the majority of the population about the distribution of the basket and which left a phrase no less unknown. serious: “We are totally depending on imported products.”

One of the measures of the “banking” process, announced in August 2023 by the Government, contemplated the obligation for establishments to have electronic payment available for any customer who requested it. At that time, Díaz Velázquez stated that the activity of businesses that did not comply would be suspended, but he gave a period of six months to adapt. The period had to be increased 60 days longer than expected due to the lack of conditions, and the rule finally came into force on February 2.

Since then, almost half a thousand establishments have closed (360 with license withdrawal), but the number is going to grow much more, according to the minister’s explanations. “It is considered to be an insufficient figure. There are provinces where the level of confrontation (fight against crime, in bureaucratic jargon) is low,” he reported. The controls also grow. In March, 2,612 inspections were carried out, while in April there were 8,169 and the complaints from the population continue.

Díaz Velázquez admitted that state companies “that should set an example” also have complaints

Díaz Velázquez admitted that state companies “that should set an example” also have complaints, although they are fewer than in the private sector which – he conceded – is waking up.

“There are non-state forms that have import levels that when you go to your tax account they have not carried out operations, therefore, the code they have is not used,” he exemplified, later asking that the law be complied with. “The amount of the fines is in the range of 25 to 100 pesos. Of course, that has no effect, but we are modifying the decree. The fines will be large, we are going to put an end to the closures as well. There has to be rigor,” he claimed.

The call, in any case, was designed to explain to the population what happens with those ships that are advertised as loaded with food that never reaches the hold. Surprisingly, after months of maintaining a speech according to which it is vital not to give details about the cargo carried by ships for reasons of national security and to avoid problems with the embargo, the authorities revealed – graphically – the situation of their ports, in two of which there are ships stopped for “financial retention”.

The Government provided unpublished details on the situation of imported products in ports.
/ Cubadebate

Its about Benjamin Confidencecoming from Brazil and loaded with 15,000 tons of peas in Havana, and the Clipper Apollonia, waiting to unload more than 14,000 tons of rice in Santiago de Cuba. There are also two ships unloading (Maria Hwith 5,398 tons of rice in Nuevitas, and BP-390with 1,200 peas in Cienfuegos) and four on the charge (the Melba to Carúpano, Las Tunas, to bring 2,600 tons of rice from Havana; he Ro Ro Orion, with 601 of the same product to Gerona; he Bernarda, with 650 tons of rice to Vita, in Holguín, and the Aseladestined for Havana and 400 tons of salt from Guantánamo).

In total, there are 13,411 tons of products in port warehouses (9,707 of rice, 3,324 of peas, 380 of salt) and 44,418 on ships (25,000 of them of peas and the rest of rice). To these we must add the amount in cabotage (in Cuban waters), with a total of 3,851 tons of the three aforementioned products.

“The population has the question of why, if it is said that the products are there, they are not there when they go to the warehouse,” explained Díaz Vázquez. The goods must be unloaded and transported, he argued, to which are added the transportation problems, among others. “There are days when the fuel is not there. Sometimes, the lack of electricity affects processes such as weighing or billing,” he added.

The minister said that “even so, we grow [sin especificar a quién se refería] in the face of difficulties” and the workers do not rest to solve problems that are greater due to the debacle of the agricultural industry. Díaz Vázquez did not explain it that way, but it was clear with the information he offered. “Until 2020 or 2021, the product was in the warehouse on the first day, and we have lost that. (…) In 2018, 30% of the rice consumed in Cuba was nationally produced. “It is very difficult to meet deadlines when you depend only on imports,” he noted.

“Until 2020 or 2021, the product was in the warehouse on the first day, and we have lost that”

In the midst of the exhaustive details about how each product is doing, province by province, another phrase slipped in that gives an account of the panorama of the former world sugar power. “May sugar is there, but it still needs to be transported. Not all provinces produced the sugar required by the regulated family basket. “It is a production that is very affected,” he explained. Among other products in the market, he mentioned oil – due to its increase in price – and milk, which “the producer is paid 38 pesos, but is sold to children for 25 cents.”

The Round Table also served to provide data on the composition and organization of the group of wholesale food companies, its distribution capabilities, the warehouses it serves, the workers it employs and how it has had to give up a commercial margin of 8% to placing it at 5.5%, which reduces their income.

The situation was repeated with the details provided by the industrial group of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, which went out of its way to talk about how productive it can be to “diversify” work by creating new businesses, including partnerships with private parties and local development projects. , which has even allowed many companies to improve their salaries. “We have an average salary of 4,000 pesos, insufficient in the face of the current inflation process, but our 3,200 workers can see an improvement in the working conditions of our entities,” celebrated the president of the group.

There were numerous final minutes left in the program to talk about the defense of the decadent Family Care System (SAF), which has at least 60,000 beneficiaries. “We are dissatisfied with the quality of what we offer,” stressed Díaz Vázquez, who nevertheless highlighted the importance of providing a minimum of food to the vulnerable and asked for the collaboration of as many entities as could join, at which time he mentioned as an example to the ruling Quisicuaba.

“We are convinced that the SAF is a neighborhood system, that with the vision of the Commander in Chief, will help people who today live alone, who do not have cooking capacity, which is why we have to continue defending it,” he said, so as not to leave without mentioning the ubiquitous Fidel Castro.

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