From ‘secure’ to entrepreneur: this is how the Cuban regime recycles its repressors

“Can a small private business set prices far from the madness of the market? A company from Camajuaní makes it possible”, This is how the official journalist Lázaro Manuel Alonso announced on his Facebook wall the opening of the Jona’s SURL shoe storea private business in that northern city of Villa Clara.

“They show that when intermediaries are eliminated, when the producer sells, when the logic is not to obtain excessive profits at the expense of the consumer’s pocket, then it is possible. We talked with them several weeks ago about the obstacles to their management and They are the protagonists of the second report on the setbacks of the private sector in Cuba,” announced the reporter from the National Television Information System.

As of that post, Cuban journalist José Raúl Gallego made reference to the “entrepreneur” behind the business: Yoandy Riverón, whom he identified as the “‘Cristian’ officer of State Security in Villa Claranow turned into a ‘businessman’ after for years he was one of those responsible for the harassment, bullying and expulsion of students and professors from the Central University of Las Villas,” he denounced.

Gallego commented that among the targets of the repressor were the journalist Karla Pérez Gonzálezexpelled from that study center, later prevented from returning to Cuba and today a refugee in Costa Rica; former teacher Dalila Rodríguez; Y the animalist Javier Larreafounder of the Cuban Animal Welfare group (BAC).

“In addition to the prices promoted by spokesman Alonso, Officer Cristian boasts of the high volumes of production that his business has, something extremely difficult in a country where stable access to raw materials is something that afflicts most businessesmore so in an area such as the footwear industry, which needs imported raw materials. In a single Facebook post we have evidenced the chain of complicity regimen-military-entrepreneurs showcase-official press,” Gallego stressed.

“In Cuba it is common to see both military personnel and State Security henchmen reconverted into business and land owners once their active service is over.always enjoying the privileges that other entrepreneurs do not have and that allow them to compete with them in extremely advantageous conditions. This is the ’emerging private class’ favored by the regime, a group formed in his image and likeness, loyal, and that he uses to show an image of ‘changes’ that do not exist. The same speech they throw at those who believe that the ‘economic empowerment’ of a supposed private sector (totally controlled by them) will bring about political empowerment,” he added.

DIARIO DE CUBA reviewed Riverón’s wall, who shared Alonso’s laudatory comment and promotes his private business from the Jona’s SURL Footwear Stores profile. Likewise, in his profile he usually shares publications by Miguel Díaz-Canel and in recent days he has launched attacks against the singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés about his concert last Tuesday in Havana.

Instead, it invites those interested to visit the store open from Wednesday, in which it claims to sell “good quality and comfortable shoes” such as sandals, ballerinas, bathing slippers, tennis shoes, among others.

Gallego ends his complaint stressing that “it is important to point out and uncover this type of event, because perhaps tomorrow a business of a State Security henchman (which also plagiarizes brands like Nike and Adidas) could be among the beneficiaries of Biden’s measures for the ‘private’ sector Cuban, while the true entrepreneur continues to work without access to the most basic resources and fearful that if one day he raises his voice, he may be judged for ‘reception’, ‘hoarding’, ‘illicit enrichment’ or any other figure created to judge arbitrarily anyone who becomes a hindrance to the regime”.

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