Independent Vendors Stage Unusual Protest In Cuba: Report

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In this Aug. 30, 2013 photo, a food vendor spreads out convertible pesos, known as CUCs, the two bills on the right, and regular Cuban pesos at her stand in a vegetable market in Havana, Cuba.  Cuba is the only country in the world that mints two national currencies, a bizarre system that even President Raul Castro acknowledges is hamstringing the island's socialist economy and must be scrapped.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In this Aug. 30, 2013 photo, a food vendor spreads out convertible pesos, known as CUCs, the two bills on the right, and regular Cuban pesos at her stand in a vegetable market in Havana, Cuba. Cuba is the only country in the world that mints two national currencies, a bizarre system that even President Raul Castro acknowledges is hamstringing the island's socialist economy and must be scrapped.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA (AP) — Witnesses say independent vendors in eastern Cuba staged a highly unusual protest after state inspectors allegedly seized unauthorized goods from their stalls, prompting the state-backed labor union to promise to seek a solution to their grievances.

Home furnishings vendor William Zaldivar said by telephone Friday that goods were confiscated from about a half-dozen vendors, who were fined 700 pesos ($28) and stripped of their business licenses. A few dozen went to protest at the regional government offices in Holguin, pushing past police and shouting that they wanted to work.

Zaldivar says officials of the state labor union met them and offered to seek a solution.

Independent human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez said several sources confirmed Tuesday's demonstration and its size.

Officials have complained that some vendors sell stolen state goods.

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Report of rare protest in eastern Cuba