Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dots on soda cans in Cuba

Yoani Sánchez, by far the most famous Cuban blogger, has fascinating post on one of Cuba's clandestine industries, framed by a friend asking her why soda cans have different colored dots on them. It's not long, but here are some excerpts:

So the colored dots indicate who owns the drinks that have been sold. Those of the local administrator might be marked in red, the waitress’s marked in blue, and the cook probably decided to opt for an orange dot. Everyone gets a share. [...]

Also, clandestine factories produce Bucanero and Cristal beers with the same appearance as the originals and even long time drinkers can barely tell the difference. These knock-off industries are located in what looks like family homes, in whose rooms a canning device snaps on the lids. [...]

A labyrinthine network of counterfeiting and resale that undermines the dysfunctional centralization and diverts profits to thousands of private pockets.

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