Less than three years after it opened, the El Trigal agricultural market closed its doors this Friday after it was announced on primetime television news last night by the vice president of the provincial government, Luis Carlos Gongora Dominguez.
Located in Havana’s Boyeros municipality, the center had been heavily criticized by the official press itself in recent months, for its high prices and their possible causes. An article published on the Cubadebate site today enumerated the irregularities that occurred in the market, such as “violations, bad management, corruption, lack of control.”
Gongora Dominguez said that the sale of agricultural products would cease “temporarily” and the agricultural cooperative that manages the place would also be dissolved, because of “a group of irregularities” that were presented.
The vice president of the provincial government did not detail the causes that have led to the closure of El Trigal, and the television news just announced that in the coming days they will explain to people what happened through “Cuba Dice” (Cuba Says), an information segment that addresses issues such as shortages, the diversion of resources and bureaucratic excesses, from an official point of view.
With the closing of El Trigal many of the retail agricultural markets lost their source of supply in the Cuban capital, including local markets and pushcart vendors.
The El Trigal market, with 16,000 square meters and 292 stalls, was opened with great fanfare in December of 2013, and was created with the purpose, among others, of “eliminating obstacles to the marketing of agricultural products.” The cooperative that managed El Trigal was established with ten partners and the place was basically conceived to concentrate the production from Artemisa and Mayabeque provinces for distribution in Havana.
However, high prices and shortages in that market have been the reality in the just over two years of the life of El Trigal.