Publicado: Mon, 26 Oct, 2015

The newspapers vendors

This entry is also avaliable in: Spanish

001Havana. A character missing today in our popular atmosphere is the street vendor of newspapers. They used to make their sales in a traveling way. Theyproclaimed their merchandise in a live voice. They loaded with big bundles of copies inside a cardboard, which was hung of the shoulder by ropes. They took in general more than a publication, because they were different publications in the Republic.

This person that sold each issue for the value of 5 cents, won for each one 2 cents. They had to be in the printing house very early in the dawn to obtain their load and to go for the market, because otherwise it could not reach the enough quantity besides arriving late to the places where they were sold, since another colleague could be ahead in the question.

The announcements they made were very singular. Sentences like ” look how they were caught”, “find out, “fire in the warehouses”., “the swindler from Old” Havana, “theycaught the criminal” and others, served as a motivation for the possible buyers, or they simply said the name of the newspaper as: “El Mundo”, “Prensa Libre”, “Información”, “La Marina”, etc. These were the hooks more used by those who developed this hard occupation.

I still remember one of these special merchants. It was aheftyblack person voice with a thick tone, which always had a very particular locution that one could interpret in multiple ways: “tangle and trouble.” This idea was good to justify any reclamation on behalf of the buyers if they didn’t find anything substantial according to the exclamation that was offered.

Many of these men, because it was always a masculine work and there were very few women in carrying out it, were of very low culture and until illiterate. They used those with a betteracademic preparation to obtain the most attractive holder’s indication. This was repeated later until the satiety by the streets for which they passed through. One can affirm that in certain way there was a kind of agent of spontaneous marketing.

Another form of selling was the one made by the bootblacks. These beside their armchair had a rustic exhibitor in which they placed a newspaper in view of the client. That one who to polish their shoes was in power their truly consumer, since while he received the service, he could read at least the holders and this way they both left more pleased.

The dispatchers were also a commercialization style that guaranteed the distribution to the addressee. My family was affiliated to“El País”. We lived in the first floor of a wide passage. Until there this individual arrived with his merchandise. The user’s name was screamed and he threwthe newspaper tied with a small thread around. When the month concluded he charged everything for his work. This is something rarely seen today.

The business at the present time is done in general through the net called “Kiosco. Correos de Cuba”, which is well known in the population as“estanquillos”. Until there the newspapers arrive in vehicles that make this function. These places are as small metal containers and where they sell along with the journals, magazines, and other periodic publications that are so packed of materials in occasions that it is impossible to distinguish all they contain.

The shortage, product of the insufficient edition, provokes that many people, mainly retired and old persons, get up early to acquire the referred publications. Many make this function to resell them, because they pay 20 cents for each and they transfer it to $1.00 in national currency(5 cents of dollar).The process has been inverted then, since those that should be served, are at the present time the real servers.

The lack of a true freedom of the press has brought very serious consequences to the citizens of our nation that are limited with news that also arrive distorted by the propaganda of the régime. The independent journalists also fight for this idea.


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