This is the medieval life in socialist Cuba. This is socialism in action.
Personal Hygiene in Cuba: Positively Medieval
‘Is it possible to imagine a Cuban minister in 1958 telling the people that they cannot use soap or brush their teeth for three months?’
What did the armpits of ordinary working people smell like in the days of El Cid Campeador? Hardly fragrant, that is for certain. There was no deodorant or scented bath soaps for sale on street corners. There was no way to brush your teeth with pleasant disinfectant pastes, or detergents to scrub dishes and clean the inns and taverns. There was no toilet paper, or refreshing shaving cream, cologne, or aromatic lotions.
In Cuba, 1,000 years later, in the 21st century, the same thing may be said. The Minister of Internal Trade, Betsy Díaz, recently announced that until April there will be no personal grooming products for sale, because the “tense financial situation” has forced the regime to use its scant funds to import food and fuel. Then it was reported that the wait would not be until April, but rather March. (Apparently, not considered a big difference).
In short, the dictatorship is dragging Cubans on the island back in time, into the Middle Ages, a time the country never saw (it did not exist, except the natives), but they it was given, in the 20th century, as a gift from the Castro brothers (I always stress my reference to ordinary Cubans, because the dictatorial elite lacks nothing, thanks to the exploitation to which it subjects everyday Cubans).
Since January shortages of everything have skyrocketed: there is an intermittent or continuous lack of cooking gas, flour, bread, pork, chicken, eggs, fish, tomato sauce, salt, vegetable oil, milk, fruit, coffee, and even rice; as well as medicines, gasoline, transport, and housing. All this is compounded by the stench and danger of epidemics emanating from foul garbage dumped in the streets.
But now something unusual has been added: people may also have to reek if they do not buy hygiene products on the black market, at inflated prices, as the law of supply and demand makes no exceptions.
And it is likely that, in March or April, Betsy will appear again to tell the media that they still do not have the funds to import hygiene products, and that the situation will be “normalized” in August.
Of course, the minister claimed that “the financing must be used to overcome the adversities of the crude blockade.” That is, the foul odors and lack of hygiene are also Washington’s fault.
When almost all hygiene products were produced in Cuba
What the official did not point out is that before 1959, when the Castros began their war against the US by confiscating American properties worth some 1.8 billion dollars, Cuba produced the vast majority of the grooming, cleaning and hygiene products that it consumed. There was no need to import them. Three large Havana factories –Crusellas, Sabatés (founded in the 19th century) and the Gravi Laboratories– were largely responsible for this, along with other plants.
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