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    New Business Owners Consider Turning In Their Licenses Due to Lack of Freedom

    New Business Owners Consider Turning In Their Licenses Due to Lack of
    Freedom / Alberto Mendez Castello
    Posted on November 9, 2013

    PUERTO PADRE, Cuba, November, cubanet.org — Officials in charge of
    overseeing the self-employment sector are updating their documentation
    of its licensees and subsequently warning them of possible violations.

    Eddy Vega — a manufacturer and vendor of plumbing supplies, who buys and
    refurbishes pieces of tubing, accessories and old keys — was warned in
    no uncertain terms by his interviewer that it is strictly forbidden for
    anyone but the state to trade in metals. Eddy, a practicing Christian,
    told this reporter he is thinking of turning in his business license.

    Self-employed workers are summoned to the old social workers’
    headquarters, where they are interviewed one-by-one.

    Similarly, food sellers, carpenters, masons, people who lease out their
    homes and anyone who is self-employed are called to appear. A carpenter
    said, “It’s very difficult to work this way. It’s already almost
    impossible to get wood. There are too many obstacles”
    Small hotel operators were summoned by city officials in Viviendas a
    week ago. One official who requested anonymity said, “We have to exert
    control… Often lodging crosses the line into prostitution.” One
    operator, who asked not to be identified, confessed, “I’m going to turn
    in my license. In the future I will take in guests discreetly like
    before, without paying taxes. I think I will save up all the money that
    for months would have gone to paying taxes for paying the fine, if I am
    ever caught.”

    These actions by the authorities serve as a policing tool, as outlined
    in the Cuban Penal Code: “Those not covered under any of the dangerous
    categories referred to in Article 73 (habitual drunkenness and
    alcoholism, addiction and antisocial behavior) with links to or
    relationships with persons potentially dangerous to society, to other
    people or to the social, economic and political order of the socialist
    state, and who may be prone to crime, shall be given warnings by the
    prevailing police authorities to prevent their engaging in socially
    dangerous or criminal activities.”
    The Penal Code also stipulates that the warning shall, “in all cases,”
    be issued by written affidavit, explaining the reasons for the warning
    as well as the response of the person being warned. It also calls for
    both the person being warned and the attending officer to sign the
    affidavit.

    In spite of the stipulation in the Penal Code, police do not ask those
    being warned what they have to say in response to the warning. Instead
    they ask, “What are you involved in?”

    Needless to say, self-employed workers here are not allowed to think
    about why they cannot acquire pieces of tubing and old keys for
    reconditioning and later resale.

    by Alberto Méndez Castelló

    Thursday, November 7, 2013 | Cubanet

    Spanish post
    7 November 2013

    Source: “New Business Owners Consider Turning In Their Licenses Due to
    Lack of Freedom / Alberto Mendez Castello | Translating Cuba” –
    http://translatingcuba.com/new-business-owners-consider-turning-in-their-licenses-due-to-lack-of-freedom-alberto-mendez-castello/

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