Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moliendo cafe

Ready for your morning cup of strong, sweet, aromatic Cuban coffee?

If you are reading this somewhere on the island, then we have some bad news: you may be drinking what you think is un café cubano but is in fact, not all that Cuban. And not all that good, either.

According to a report by Reuters’s hard-working correspondent in Havana, Marc Frank, the Castro regime has just released details of the forthcoming coffee harvest.

It seems the regime is expecting this harvest to total more than 9,000 tonnes, an increase of about 10 per cent over the previous harvest.

But as is the norm with Castrostatistics, the projections may be, well, a tad optimistic.

The problem is that in classic Communist style, Cuban farmers must sell all of the coffee beans they harvest to the State - at prices well below what they would get through the black market. Of course.

To add insult to injury, the State is often late paying the farmers, an issue that has become so serious it was raised recently by Raul Castro.

Not surprisingly, the poor coffee farmers have bugger all incentive in increasing either production or the quality of their crop.

The result? While Cuba has always exported coffee, it now has to import beans to supplement local demand.

And as Frank reports, the coffee being imported is primarily low-grade coffee ... from Vietnam.

Hmmmm … Vietnamese coffee.

1 Comments:

Blogger Henry Gomez said...

Hard working Marc Frank worked very hard for the "People's Daily World" which is the newspaper of the Communist Pary USA (it's now a weekly). He penned more than 1000 articles for that rag.

9:57 am  

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