In Cuba, plastic grocery bags are considered contraband and are illegal except “in state-run stores.” The bags are a key element in the daily survival of Cubans, as these are a must have should a black market deal come up and the opportunity of providing a sustentative meal for the family.
The Washington Post has a story of a thriving black market in Cuba. Making a deal in the black market for rice and beans in Cuba is reminiscent of an illicit drug deal elsewhere in the world, and you can end up in prison just the same.
In Cuba, 'On the Left' Means A Flourishing Black Market
Guile and Caution Employed to Counter Chronic Shortages
By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Sunday, October 22, 2006; A14
HAVANA -- Most mornings a woman with darting brown eyes lingers here in the sticky hot corner of an open-air vegetable market.
She effects a casual stance, elbow propped nonchalantly against a cigar stand, waiting for the regulars. If she nods, her customers follow her to a side street.
A few quick, nervous glances and the woman reaches inside her blouse. From her bra, she removes her contraband -- neatly folded plastic grocery sacks, illegal except in state-run stores.
Five for one cent.
Read the rest of story [here].