The new “opening” of the Cuban automotive market, you should not be surprised to hear, is not much of an opening at all:
Previously, Cubans were first required to request permission from the monopoly, in order to then try to purchase a vehicle from the monopoly.
Now, they can just try to purchase a vehicle from the monopoly without first requesting permission from the monopoly.
Oh, and there are additional charges involved: a 20-percent tariff (imports, you know), plus 10 percent tax, plus 8 percent surcharge. The result is a price list that looks like this:
Anyone have a cool $200 thousand lying around? That's what you need if you want to buy a new Peugeot in Cuba pic.twitter.com/TXFuuhYalL
— Mary Murray (@MaryMurrayNBC) January 2, 2014
Oh, and those prices are quoted in convertible Cuban pesos, which are officially worth US$1. So the Peugeot 4008, a small (think Honda CR-V) front-drive SUV, will cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
This is such a pathetic scheme, with such amazing potential for government graft, that I can’t believe some lunatic American legislator hasn’t already proposed something similar to inflict on the States.
(Via Fausta’s blog.)