Most people do not think of Haiti as a shopping destination. Unless they are Cuban.
Every afternoon, hundreds of Cubans walk through the pot-holed streets in the capital of the hemisphere’s poorest country looking for clothing, light bulbs, perfumes and other products that are scarce in their country, reports the Associated Press.
The Haitian vendors put Cuban reggaetón at full volume to attract the clientele. In a café opened a year ago, decorated with painted Cuban flags, Angelina Luis Domínguez, a native of Havana, and her niece Yeleny Terry Luis serve black beans, rice and roast pork to their countrymen at lunchtime.
“There are thousands, from all over,” said Dominguez. “Before there were four or five; now there are many.” It seems like all Cuba is here, she adds.
The “Cuban market” of Port-au-Prince is part of a global trade estimated at more than US $2 billion, fueled by the convergence of the increased freedom of Cubans to travel with the continuous control exercised by the communist state in the economy of the country.