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Troubles For Embargo Busters
Thursday, April 07, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Look at this sales tax

ABC News reports that embargo busters are having trouble. fidel's currency manipulations mean their visits for cigar festivals and Canadian seafood feasts and jineteras are costing them a lot more.

 "This place was already expensive," said a U.S. businessman who visits often to sell food to the government, referring to the minimum 140 percent sales tax at state-run hard currency shops.

 "But over the last six months it has become worse than any other country I do business with," he said, like others asking his name not be used.

I'm sure stateside politicians would love to be able to get away with the 140% sales tax. It would seem that Mr. Unnamed Businessman doesn't understand that when dealing with a tyrant he will probably act like a tyrant.

Unfortunately, fidel's assault on the dollar means Cubans fortunate enough to have relatives abroad who send them money are also hurting.

Santiago de Cuba housewife Eliana is one of about 30 percent of Cubans who receive an estimated total of $1 billion a year from relatives outside the country, mainly residing in the United States. That allows her to live relatively comfortably in a country where the average monthly wage of 260 pesos, equivalent to around $15, is not enough to make ends meet.

$15 a month. Live on that, Mr. castro loving limousine liberal.




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