You’d think a mattress is just that — a comfort and not a need. Not so much in Cuba, where mattresses are treated like family heirlooms….
There is a shortage of mattresses in certain parts of Cuba since, apparently, only one company has exclusive agreement with the state to provide for it and haven’t been providing enough. This has then resulted in a growing number of black market mattress makers, who have to steal materials from the state-sanctioned mattress company, to make a cannibalized but very decent version.
From the Miami Herald:
The government is beginning to take notice. According to dissident economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, the authorities have increased their pursuit of independent craftsmen over the past year, engineering raids on clandestine shops and fining illegal manufacturers.
In Cuba, the Mattress Giant is the communist state. It has granted the country’s sole mattress-making concession to an outfit called Dujo Copo Flex, a joint Cuban-Spanish operation created in 2001.
The company annually produces 60,000 mattresses. Generally, they are designated for ritzy tourist hotels that don’t cater to Cubans or sold through hard-currency stores run by the government.
More on this interesting story here.