Life in communist Cuba: Misery, hunger, and skyrocketing inflation

What’s it like to live under Cuba’s utopian socialist revolution? Some Cubans on the island let us know.

Via Martí Noticias (my translation):

‘There’s a lot of misery, a lot of hunger, and prices go up every week’

Cubans living in various provinces on the island who were interviewed by Martí Noticias are holding the country’s top authorities responsible for the severe food shortage affecting the population.

From Havana, Vladimir Ríos Cruz, who resides in the San Agustín neighborhood of La Lisa, said there is a total lack of capacity by the government to address the national disaster involving water, medicine, and food shortages.

“The government’s management is poor, it’s a failed project; neither the government nor the leaders are of any use,” he concluded.

Ríos Cruz also warned about exorbitant prices: “This is tough, a pound of sweet potatoes costs 60 pesos, and one sweet potato can cost 120 pesos, and be careful it doesn’t come with bugs inside.”

In the city of Santa Clara, a pound of rice reaches 250 pesos, and pork has already reached 500 pesos, according to independent journalist Guillermo del Sol.

“Truly this has become a hellish situation, let’s call it what it is, everything involved with running this country is a complete failure; they don’t generate any solutions,” Del Sol warned.

On Tuesday, the President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo, while addressing the members of the agri-food commission, described the precarious food supply situation in the country and acknowledged the failure of the Food Sovereignty Law, which was passed just over a year ago.

“Currently, 100% of the family food rations is being imported, and the country doesn’t have money to import, so we face this serious situation where the rations don’t arrive, and even when it does, it comes split in half, things that should be provided to the population for one or two months,” admitted the leader.

“The scarcity is tremendous; right now, a pound of beans costs around 300 pesos, an egg costs 60 pesos, and the rationed food supply is about to disappear at any moment,” stated independent jounalist Adriano Castañeda from Sancti Spíritus.

He pointed out that in that region, where beans and rice used to be produced, those crops no longer exist.

From the town of Aguada de Pasajeros, in the province of Cienfuegos, Juan Alberto de la Nuez emphasized that there is absolute misery in the country.

“We see how the so-called MIPYMES (Small and Medium Enterprises) bring in chickens and oil at unaffordable prices for the average Cuban, which shows that the government doesn’t really want to solve the food scarcity,” De la Nuez opined.

Farmer Daniel Alfaro Frías, from the town of San Antonio de los Baños in the province of Artemisa, commented that it is very sad that amid this food crisis, there is also harassment by the State against the few producers.

“Farmers, well, simply put, the police parked on the roads seize the trucks carrying goods to sell in Havana, the few products that appear,” Alfaro recounted.

In Guantánamo, Miguel Ángel López Herrera asserted that the scarcity is widespread, and the price of what little is available is beyond the reach of most citizens.

“In Guantánamo, there’s much misery, much hunger; prices go up every week, while incomes don’t increase. Neither the government nor any provincial, municipal, or any other institutions here shows any interest in what the people are going through,” emphasized López Herrera.