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Wherever one travels in Cuba chances are you'll be offered some kind of local produce.

In the west of the country men dart out from behind lush foliage brandishing strings of garlic and onion.

In the central plains they leap from sugar cane bearing cheese and guava paste while in the eastern Sierra Maestra mountain range they jump out of the jungle holding up fruits and fowl.

With travel restrictions eased, more Cuban Americans are able to return home.

These stealthy hawkers often risk the wrath of the Cuban police who guard the state's monopoly on food distribution in the nation.

As they haggle over price with passers-by they keep a close eye out for the highway patrol.

But around 60 miles outside of eastern Santiago de Cuba, in the Sierra Maestras, the scene is different. Dozens of small kiosks offering strings of tangerines, grapes, bananas and tropical fruits with exotic names such as Mame, Guanabana and Nispero appear, and the game of cat and mouse suddenly ends.

These kiosks are government sanctioned.

Sellers proudly offer their fruits and other products and customers happily munch while enjoying the spectacular view.

The highway patrol attends to what one would hope would be more important matters and the government collects taxes from the commercial activity.


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