Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Potatoes, Food and Condoms: The Shortages Diversify
Posted on April 1, 2014

Chronic shortages in Cuba are extending their tentacles with renewed
vigor. The cycles of absence of numerous products are ever more
frequent, even in the markets that trade “in hard currency.” Lately
toilet paper has disappeared (for the umpteenth time in recent months),
and similarly there have been short “gap” periods in which there have
been no toothbrushes, toothpaste, wheat flour, powdered milk, soaps and
detergents, sanitary napkins, etc. Nothing seems to be safe from the
black hole that is Castro’s socialism, in which life is reduced to
“not-dying,” while running a perennial pilgrimage after those articles
which, anywhere in the civilized world, are a part of the most common

With regards to food, it’s better not to talk about it. It’s enough to
see the Dantesque scenes offered to us by the lines that form at dawn
whenever someone announces that this or that farmers market “is going to
have potatoes.” The police in Central Havana are practically on a war
footing attending to the brawls that occur in the crowds who aspire to
buy the longed-for tuber.

Now it turns out that the shortages have reached condoms, those
attachments needed for the safe practice of what some call “the national
sport.” Things have reached such an extreme that it has come to the
point where drugstores and pharmacies have mobilized staff to change the
expiration dates that appear on this product–already expired–to “update”
it and be able to sell it. There is testimony that in some of Cuba’s
interior provinces this task has been assigned to recruits doing their
military service: a strategy of total combat in the face of the alarms
set off by this small and humble latex object. According to the
authorities, this is being done “because the dates on the containers
were wrong.”

Consumers, however, are wary. In a country where corruption and deceit
are part of the reality, no one feels safe. Some paranoiacs go to the
extreme of suspecting it’s part of an official conspiracy to promote
births in Cuba… What it really does is lead to an increase in abortions.

At the moment, a friend tells me, half-amused half-worried, that if in
the 90s she had buy condoms to use as balloons at her son’s birthday
party–today a young man of twenty-something– now she will have to buy
balloons to practice safe sex.

31 March 2014

Source: Potatoes, Food and Condoms: The Shortages Diversify |
Translating Cuba –

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