Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

Oct. 7, 1999.

GOVERNMENT EVICTS "INDEPENDENT" MERCHANTS FROM HISTORIC QUARTER By Ricardo González Alfonso, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - Government agents recently evicted about 30 self-employed street merchants from their stands in the historic quarter of the colonial city of Sancti Spíritus in central Cuba. The provincial directors of the National Assembly declared the historic area off-limits to the independents who operated food stands, carriages and "bicytaxis." The directors alleged that the 'offending' enterprisers' activities were not compatible with the area's character as a restored historical attraction.

There are some observers who say, however, that the independents were providing stiff competition for the official stores in the area which only trade in dollars. The independents, who pay government fees to ply their trades in the streets, were providing better quality at lower prices than the official establishments, according to this version.

The ousted self-employed workers have signed a letter of protest to the president of the National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcón, with a copy going to the government newspaper called "Trabajadores" (Workers).

Ricardo González Alfonso, Cuba Free Press.


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