Cuba: Economic difficulties to distribute food
Posted on17 October 2009 at 10:07.
Tags: Cuba, distribution, economy, food
In Cuba, more than 70% of its population lives under the rationing
system since birth.
The ration card, which is in effect since 1962, guarantees monthly to
each of the 11 million people the consumption of 3.5 kilos of rice, 2.5
kilos of sugar, half a kilo of beans; 230 grams of oil, 10 eggs, 460
grams of chicken, 460 grams of spaghetti, 230 grams of soya mince (or
substitute), plus 115 grams of coffee and a daily bread.
For every family with children under seven years one liter of milk a
day is added.
Now, amid the current crisis, this supply became a burden rather
difficult for the Castro government that seeks to prop up a socialist
economic model that is based on the logic of numbers, not dreams.
The country imports over 80% of its food and, consequently, the grant of
the products in the book represents to the state more than $ 800 million
and the numbers are not matching.
Since February 24th 2008, Raúl Castro said: "The ration book, like other
millionaires entitlements and subsidies, became irrational and
And that "No country can indefinitely spend more than its income."
The media published daily and weekly letters by the paper's editor,
Lazaro Barredo, deputy and member of the Communist Party Central
Committee, published this week talks about "the vices of paternalism,and
the end of rationing subsidized "The ration card was a necessity in a
given time, but currently is a baggage that the nation has to bear", and
confirms that "social justice is not egalitarianism is equality of
rights and opportunities. "
The four ministries, Labor and Social Security, Finance and Prices,
Economy and Planning and Internal Trade, catering workers began to give
each worker 15 pesos a day, about 0.70 euro for people to buy lunch on
One economist said: "The book will disappear, that's for sure. But the
current insecurity is such that the Government can not do it all at once".
The average wage in Cuba is 415 pesos, about 13 euros. It is true that
health and education are free, but the quality of services is very low,
the price of water, gas and other services are subsidized and guaranteed
a minimum book reaches to 10 or 12 days.
Virginia, Bachelor in Biotechnology stated: "When shopping, you're
charged for a quart of oil a week´s worth salary and as much for a
bottle of shampoo," and asks "What will a retiree who earns 200 pesos a
month do if you eliminate the book? ".
The independent economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe said "first you have to
do some homework, including the removal of dual currency and get the
real value of wages to recover. To build wealth saving is not enough, we
must produce, and it is good to remember that in Cuba between 60% and
70% of food is produced by private farmers, who have 20% of the land.
Why not cooperativize certain services that the state is unable to
offer? Why not give a wider margin for private enterprise? ".
Cuba: Economic difficulties to distribute food | Momento 24 (17 October