Because Utopian Socialist Dictatorships work for well ‘for the people.’
Cubans have reacted with shock after foreign-made cars went on sale for the first time since the 1959 revolution at what some termed “crazy” prices.
The state has a monopoly on new car sales and has set massive mark-ups.
A Peugeot 508 is listed at $262,000. Peugeot’s UK website puts prices from $29,000. State salaries in Cuba average about $20 a month.
Freeing up car sales is the latest in a series of reforms. A permit to buy new vehicles is now no longer required.
However, only a minority will benefit.
The BBC’s Sarah Rainsford, in Havana, says the stream of people at one used-car store in Havana’s upmarket Miramar district were in for a shock. She says the most commonly uttered phrases were “this is madness” and “what a lack of respect”, referring to the government.
One of those outside the dealership, Suzanne, told the BBC: “The prices are crazy. No Cuban who works for the state can buy at that price. They have zero chance of getting a car.”
Another, Antonio, said: “We’re speechless, it’s a big surprise. I don’t know what the government’s strategy is. Maybe this is just a test phase. But the prices are excessive.”
The government argues profits will be placed in a special fund to develop public transport…But one Cuban resident, Daniel Rojas, asked: “At these prices, how many people can buy the cars? So where’s the money to invest in public transport if no-one can buy them?”