The economic crisis in Cuba has reached the most violent proportions since the “special period” of the 1990s, where the only “special” thing was that thousands of people died of hunger.
Now, the communist regime responded to the inflationary outbreak by tightening all price and wage controls in force, generating the largest generalized shortage crisis in 30 years.
The shortages mainly affected food, and now Cuba is also going through a real food crisis, spreading hunger throughout the length and breadth of the island.
The “official” inflation on prices jealously regulated by the regime continued to rise steadily and reached 44.5% year-on-year in February, with a monthly rate of increase of 2% to 3%.
According to investigations by private consulting firms, the regime imposed strong price controls at gunpoint, which led to the proliferation of black markets, where they already have annual increases at a rate of 100%.
The regime reacted to the shortage by employing a grotesque rationing program.
The distribution of chicken to people over 13 years of age was strictly forbidden, and parents must prove that they have children in that age range to buy the most common meat dish in Cuba.
This doesn’t mean that families with children under this threshold can buy all the chicken they want: they can only access a quarter of a kilo of chicken per month at most.
While other countries suffer crises with moderate inflation, a small retraction of GDP, and a slight rise in unemployment, Cuba’s communist economy takes the island straight back to the Middle Ages to survive.
Why have state industries, collective ownership, and a “national and popular” government if people do not have enough to eat?
Thus, families with children under 13 and people with disabilities or who must comply with particular diets for health reasons (who can prove it and receive the approval of the Communist Party) will receive a quarter of a kilo of chicken per month.
A true revolution.
For the rest of the population, only the distribution (also limited and rationed) of meat products of lesser quality, such as picadillo (mincemeat) and mortadella, among others, will be enabled.
But the state guarantee means nothing since there are numerous complaints of shortages of essential products such as milk and personal hygiene products.
The government itself has already officially acknowledged the shortages of powdered milk, even for pregnant women, so the population must desperately turn to the black market exchange, paying exorbitant prices not seen anywhere in the “capitalist world”, which are increasing at a much more violent rate than official indicators suggest.
Even before the food crisis broke out, Cuba suffered fuel shortages.
Public and private transportation is completely paralyzed by long lines around official fuel stations, which sometimes take days to fill a liter of gasoline.
The situation has been so extreme that even the regime had to suspend the traditional parade for May 1, an extremely important date for the communist calendar established as a holiday by Castroism.
There was no way to mobilize the starving population on this “patriotic date”, in addition to the fact that the transportation system was paralyzed entirely due to the lack of fuel.
As if this were not enough, Cuba now also suffers massive and incessant electrical blackouts, comparable to those experienced when the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s.
The interruption of electricity services averaged 5 hours daily and affected all island provinces.
All this occurred even though the state-owned company that centralizes and monopolizes the electricity operation, Unión Eléctrica de Cuba (UNE), has already increased its tariffs by 133%.
There are constant interruptions of services, but the bills from the State are increasing, and not paying them means going to prison.