A pound of pork in communist Cuba selling for half a month’s salary

For the many Cubans who only earn the minimum wage, a pound of pork will set them back 1,050 pesos, which is half of their 2,100 peso monthly salary. The failed socialist policies of the Castro dictatorship have led to rampant inflation and shortages of food, a deadly combination that affects all Cubans, except for, of course, the elite in the Cuban Communist Party. They still get to feast on steak and lobster. This is socialism in action.

Via CubaNet (my translation):

Half of a month’s minimum salary for a pound of pork chops in Cuba

On March 15th, with a year-on-year inflation rate in the Cuban market of 32.08% (according to government data), the price of pork reached a minimum of 1,050 pesos for a pound of chops.

An analysis of the value of this meat, conducted by the independent media outlet elTOQUE based on data obtained from daily observation in a group of nearly 40 establishments in official markets, spread across 11 municipalities in Havana, yielded chilling results.

The Cuban minimum wage, set at 2,100 CUP, would only be enough for one kilogram of steak per month, without considering any other expenses, not even utility bills.

Monitoring conducted by elTOQUE reveals that at the end of this third week of March, pork, which is (or was) one of the main foods for Cubans and part of traditional dishes, is only accessible to a few.

The part of the animal with the lowest minimum price is the leg, which can be found at 530 CUP, however, the maximum price recorded was 1060 CUP.

Bone-in pork butt and fat are around 530 pesos per pound; smoked bone-in loin is offered at a minimum of 750 and a maximum of 1,100; boneless smoked loin ranges from 1,000 to 1,361; boneless mass ranges from 857 to 1,350. These are offerings from agricultural markets, small and medium-sized enterprises that offer their products via WhatsApp or other social networks; among other options that have authorization to engage in commercial activities.

“In Cuba, the price of pork has become a thermometer of the local economy. In its variations, it has fluctuated, always upward, in line with inflation and the decline in production,” elTOQUE wrote when presenting its analysis.

According to the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI), the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 2.92% in February compared to January.

Inflationary increases were experienced in all sectors. In restaurants and hotels, it was 41.28%; in transportation, 38.73%, and in food and non-alcoholic beverages, 37.54%.

By the end of 2023, the price of pork already showed excessive values. Prior to the holiday season, the price per pound ranged between 500 and 600 Cuban pesos (CUP), representing between 25% and 30% of the minimum wage (2,100 CUP) decreed on the island as part of the Ordering Task.

In just four years, the shortage of pork has reached alarming levels with a reduction of almost 90%. The crisis affects all areas of the country. This has led to a decrease in animal breeding, without feed to nourish them, resulting in a decline in meat production, according to a study by the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Havana, disseminated by ICEX Spain Export and Investments.

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