Cuba’s Expensive Glass of Milk
April 12, 2014
HAVANA TIMES — Officials from the Ministry of Finance and Prices, the
Food Industry and CIMEX Corp. pulled off a fast one this week when they
announced they would raise the price of milk because its price on the
world market had gone up.
Various sources, including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization,
ensure that the international price of milk powder is falling and this
year will actually cost 10% less. Apparently the population deserves a
more detailed explanation on the subject.
Someone should explain where the milk is purchased, why it is so
expensive, if Washington penalizes the sale [under the embargo] when the
cows have US genes or if the integration with Latin America cannot
provide cheaper markets.
If the government’s importers do not have clear answers to these
questions, the Comptroller General of the Republic should become
involved at the smell of the sour milk. It wouldn’t be the first time
they buy bad and expensive.
And while at the same time they are telling people that the milk price
must go up, they also recently announced that tens of thousands of cows
are dying of hunger and thirst in the country. As happens with the
bankers in Europe, inefficiently run agriculture is paid for by the
Assuming that all the criticisms that have been unleashed are wrong and
that Cuba cannot buy milk cheaper on the international market, there
could still be better solutions than raising the price to the public.
Blogger Yohan Gonzalez proposes raising the price of “luxury products or
alcoholic beverages, which being harmful to health could well receive a
tax to avoid further losses with the milk.”
If the sales price of cars rose to 10 times their value to fund public
transport, why not use the same principle to subsidize milk for children
and the elderly by raising the price of rum and cigarettes?
In the case of rum and milk, I don’t think anyone doubts as to which
product should be subsidized and which should be taxed. Families with
children and also those with alcoholics would be appreciative.
If this really is the “revolution of the humble, for the humble and for
the humble” there are many more products that could be taxed to
subsidize the staples of the Cuban family.
You’d think it would annoy the humble of the revolution to have the same
tax on imported ice cream, cheese and chocolates as on staple products,
forcing them to spend more than 10% of their salary to buy a liter of
When the government raised car prices nobody supported the measure, but
to most Cubans it mattered little. With the increase in the price of
milk, officials are once again alone, but this time managed to awaken
the ill-feeling of the majority of the population.
(*) Visit Fernando Ravsberg’s blog.
Source: Cuba’s Expensive Glass of Milk – Havana Times.org –