Friday, October 2, 2015

A Queen Without Competition

A Queen Without Competition / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on October 2, 2015

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, 1 October 2015 — The "Energy Revolution",
one of the last initiatives promoted by Fidel Castro before his public
retirement, made some peculiar appliances appear in Cuban homes. Perhaps
the most popular was the electric cooking pot was popularly called
Queen, manufactured in China and which serves equally to make a red bean
stew or meat and potatoes.

Those appliances which were distributed in bulk throughout the island,
as if it were a military operation, were sold on credit and at a price
that did not exceed 400 Cuban pesos (about $16 US). One day, coinciding
with the departure of the Commander-in-Chief from his post, those pots
also disappeared.

Since the middle of this year the Queen began to be assembled in Cuba in
the ProHogar plant in the city of Santa Clara, as a part of the
Household Production Industry (INPUD), a project founded in 1964 by the
then Minister of Industry, Ernesto Guevara.

The group made up of 32 skilled workers assembles some 700 appliances a
day that then go for the commercial network of hard currency stores and
are sold at prices exceeding 30 convertible pesos (over $30 US). The
items for sale can no longer be paid for on the installment plan, that
characterized their distribution during the "Energy Revolution."

Also lost in time are the memories of those refrigerators in INPUD
fabricated that were distributed based on "merits" in one's workplace.
Instead, the entity now seeks to impose its products on the market
through the harsh law of quality and competition with other similar
products. The Queens are no longer for commoners.

Source: A Queen Without Competition / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar |
Translating Cuba -

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