Santa Clara, Cuba. May 18. (Guillermo Fariñas, Cubanacán Press / www.cubanet.org) – The illegal peddlers who usually hawk coffee in the streets of the provincial capital of Santa Clara have been gone for three weeks now. The reason? No beans to sell.Police have set up check points on the roads leading into the city from Manicaragua and Báez, effectively stopping transportation of the coffee from the Escambray mountains, where it is grown.Police have also been searching passengers arriving by train from the eastern provinces. As a result, supplies of coffee have all but dried up in the city, at least at a price that would allow the illegal peddlers to compete.An old lady who said her name is Eumelia who usually sells coffee around La Chirusa neighborhood said: “Things are tough with coffee, because they are not allowing it to come down from the hills, and if you are going to buy it at the dollar stores, you'll go broke.”
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