“An outstanding worker, with thousands of volunteer hours or a mission as a soldier to Angola or Ethiopia, might consider himself lucky if he was allowed to acquire a Moskovich or a Lada,” writes Yoani Sanchez in her famous Generation Y blog.
“Professionals of the highest rank would compete in the universities and study centers for the small allocations of automobiles.”
Many of those cars remain in service for their recipients and their descendants, still “non-transferable and easily confiscated.”
Cubans can buy the Peugeots and Daihatsus that are the imports of the post-Soviet era – if they have somehow have the cash and, tougher yet, can prove the money was accumulated in keeping with socialist precepts (black marketeers need not apply). The process can take years.
And now there is a further roadblock, Sanchez reports. Yes, it involves paperwork.