Food in Cuba is both scarce and unaffordable as prices double while incomes remain stagnant

Cubans wait in line for scarce food rations

From our Bureau of Socialist Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice with some assistance from our Bureau of Remarkable Achievements in Latrine American Socialist Agriculture

Cuba seems headed for a famine, and its slide into this crisis seems unstoppable. The main problem is that Cuba no longer produces its own food and therefore needs to import a whopping 80% of what it needs to consume to stave off mass starvation.

To make matters worse, its tightly controlled socialist economy –including its apartheid tourism industry — don’t generate enough income to cover the cost of so much imported food. And as if this weren’t bad enough, inflation has doubled prices while incomes remain flat.

This is a remarkable agricultural achievement. A country with some of the most fertile soil on earth and a tropical climate that was once one of the world’s leading exporters of agricultural products now has to import almost all of its food. Talk about equity, inclusion, and social justice: All Cubans are being equally affected, except the oligarchs and kleptocrats, of course. And tourists can gorge themselves as Cubans starve.

Typical apartheid hotel buffet in Cuba

Abridged and loosely translated from Diario de Cuba

Prices in the formal market in Cuba have doubled in the last two years, since the Ordinance Task came into effect, according to data from the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) compiled by EFE.

The rises in prices in this period have been even more marked in food, where they have almost tripled, something linked to the severe shortages suffered by the Island and the heavy dependence of the regime on imports in an environment with a strong dollar and one Cuban peso (CUP) down.

According to the ONEI monthly report, the year-on-year Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the formal market stood at 39.07% in 2022 in December. This indicator in the same month of the previous year was at 77, 33%.

This means that, on average, prices doubled between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022, coinciding with one of the most serious crises that Cuba has experienced in decades.

The crisis is evident in the shortage of basic products (such as food, medicine and fuel), the partial dollarization of the economy, a deep depreciation of the peso, prolonged and frequent blackouts and a sharp increase in prices.

The Food and non-alcoholic beverages category registered a rebound in the whole of 2022 of 62.95%, when the increase in the previous year had been 113.95%. This means that official prices almost tripled between 2021 and 2022.

Cuba imports 80% of what it consumes, according to the United Nations. Therefore, the depreciation of the Cuban peso (CUP) in 2022 is relevant, which went from 72 CUP per dollar to around 165 in the informal market, although it reached 200 in the middle of the year.

Whole story HERE in Spanish, with multiple links to articles on the same subject.

1 thought on “Food in Cuba is both scarce and unaffordable as prices double while incomes remain stagnant”

  1. No problem. Let the “diaspora” deal with it. I mean, that’s their responsibility, not that of the “revolution.”

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