Another Advance of the Revolution!
Condom shortage hits Cuba
First, potatoes disappeared from Cuban markets. They are back, but police are struggling to keep throngs of frantic buyers in check. And now there are shortages of beer and condoms, with some shops charging up to $1.30 for each prophylactic.
Havana blogger Miriam Celaya wrote that a woman friend had joked that if in the 1990s she had to buy condoms instead of hard-to-find balloons for her son’s birthday party, today she might have to buy him balloons so he can practice safe sex.
Cuban ruler Raúl Castro has repeatedly declared that the island is moving, slowly but steadily, away from its highly inefficient Soviet economic model and toward a more-productive system that mixes socialism with small doses of private enterprise.
Yet Cubans are complaining almost daily about shortages, sometimes in one province and not in another, sometimes in some stores and not others, and sometimes about one item and not another — for instance, no galvanized roofing sheets but lots of nails.
Havana author Polina Martínez Shvietsova wrote that the shortage of condoms in state-run pharmacies started about 15 days ago, although shops that cater mostly to foreigners still sell the prophylactics at $1.30 each — a day’s wage for the average Cuban.
“In the great majority of pharmacies in the [Havana] municipality of Playa, there’s a shortage,” she wrote. “In the municipality of Plaza, in the pharmacy at 23rd and 24th Streets, the salespeople said, ‘We have none, and we don’t know when they will arrive.’ . . .
“Nevertheless, all of the pharmacies that have no condoms do have signs recommending safe sex,” Martinez wrote in her report published in Cubanet, a Miami-based website for independent journalists.
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