Cuba: One Ration Booklet, Different Bread Rolls
August 26, 2014
Jimmy Roque Martinez
HAVANA TIMES – Luckily, we still have a ration booklet in Cuba. In
addition to a monthly quota of rice, sugar, grains and a tiny allotment
of meat products, every person gets one bread roll a day.
Until some time ago, I thought everyone got the same bread. Then I
discovered that I was wrong: the quality of the bread one gets depends
on where one lives. This is not officially established, of course, but
it happens this way in practice.
It is established that every bun weigh a minimum of 80 grams, but the
ones my family get in Marianao, at the Las Americas bakery, are
excessively small units whose weight oscillates between 45 and 60 grams.
What’s more, the bread is often sour (tasting awful the next day), not
soft and not quite white.
By contrast, the bread given people as part of food quotas in Vedado is
large, white, soft and tasty. It weighs 80 grams and preserves these
characteristics the day after.
It is clear to me that the traditionally underpriviliged areas in Havana
(including Marianao) are also the most neglected today.
How is it possible that the neighborhood representative does nothing
about this, that the State inspectors responsible for verifying the
quality of the bread do not see the problem? What bread is the chair of
the municipal government eating? What are citizens doing to demand the
little they are entitled to?
Many active or former government officials (and military officers) live
in Vedado. They make up the “middle class” that is slowly emerging in
Cuba. And it is becoming increasingly clear that this sector has “more
rights” than those who live in underprivileged neighborhoods.
Could this be what the authorities mean when they speak of putting an
end to egalitarian policies? One ration booklet but different kinds of
Making quality bread rolls shouldn’t be hard, particularly when we
recall that bread is one of the basic food products that make up the
diet of Cubans, especially that of children.
It is the responsibility of consumers to demand that the products and
services they receive have the required quality. After all, they aren’t
gifts, they are rights.
Source: Cuba: One Ration Booklet, Different Bread Rolls – Havana
Times.org – http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=105744