One Sunday morning a few weeks ago, the security forces arrested three people who were offering beef in Nueva Aurora, a town near Santiago de las Vegas, just in the moment when several people were standing in line to buy their meat for the rest of the week.
The traders, two men and one woman, were using a van with a fridge as a way to carry all the merchandise available to the public. A pound of meat was sold for two convertible pesos or fifty pesos in national currency, depending on customer preference.
Once interrogated, the security forces seized the meat and fined the three individuals 500 pesos in national currency. One of the usual buyers, expressed that he did not have doubts that there was a “tip-off” that led the authorities know about it and to perform the operation because those peasants used to come every month and never had any problems. The buyers always bought meat, cheese, yogurt, and butter from the farm the sellers have in the Wajay. According to people, it produces many good and quality products. Now they could lose the farm.
In this regard, the Cuban penal code, Art. 240, advises that the person who gained greater sacrifice without the respective and obligated state authorization, is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
At the same time, for transporting or commercializing meat, the penalty can be six months to two years in prison. Ultimately, even the buyer could be punished with imprisonment from three months to a year of detention or with fines up to three hundred pesos, depending the situation.
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