Reports from Cuba: Cubans react to the Tarea Ordenamiento: ‘These two months have been very hard’

Diario de Cuba reports from Havana:

‘These two months have been very hard’: Cubans react to the Tarea Ordenamiento

They complain about rising prices and low wages

Cubans in a line in Havana.

Cubans are complaining about price increases and insufficient salaries in a survey published this Monday by the official media outlet Cubadebate two months after the Tarea Ordenamiento legislation was implemented.

According to the majority of those surveyed, the new salaries in Cuba are not enough to meet needs, and there has been an excessive increase in the prices of products and services, but the quality of what is offered has not improved. Cubans are spending more on food; electricity, water and gas; and hygiene.

“These two months have been very hard. Every day I desperately look for news in Cubadebate or in some newspaper to give me some hope, saying that prices will drop a little, or that they will be supplying the markets, something like that. I know that the international situation is tough, but when it’s difficult to feed a teenager, when your neighbors or fellow citizens want to live off you like leeches, when you feel strangled, you simply no longer see beyond your nose,” wrote a Cuban identified as Ginny in the comments on said page.

“What have these months been like? Terrible. I’ve been incessantly going over the numbers because my salary is not enough to make ends meet, and our needs are only increasing, but I have the legitimate hope that our country will flourish.”

“The ordenamiento is good in terms of wages but, on the other hand, there are no supplies anywhere. All the good stuff is in MLC (Freely Convertible Currency) and here they don’t pay us in that currency, nor do we all have someone to send us money from abroad (…) The country does not have the funds to purchase at our banks yet; there are too many things to improve,” said Yailín.

Regarding salaries, Juan Carlos Díaz stated that “it’s not fair for a doctor, a lawyer or a university professor to earn half of what a police officer earns, or a third of what a secretary does, or the electricity or ETECSA collector. It’s very unfair, and we have nowhere to complain.”

“I think that the workers’ years of seniority should be taken into account. It’s not fair that a recent graduate earns the same as a worker with more than 20 years of service in the same sector. Let’s analyze seniority,” said Nirmalia Mezquia Morales.

“I was surprised by the doctors’ salaries. Right at this time, when they are the ones who are bearing the brunt of the pandemic, they decided on a salary well below what they deserve, taking into account the days they see patients, or are on call, and almost without distinguishing between a specialist who is a recent graduate and one who has 20 years of experience or more. Anyway, I didn’t understand the analysis in that regard,” said a Cuban identified as BDN.

The Cuban Government continues to amend the reorganization of the economy that began on January 1, 2021. Despite the adjustment of some prices, citizens are complaining about the increase in the cost of services like electricity, and basic foods, such as rice.