Cuba admits increase in drug use, especially among youth

Good Revolutionaries at the 12th Communist Youth Congress display the slogan of the year, April 2024

From our Bureau of Creating One’s Happiness with some assistance from our Bureau of Great-Grandchildren of the Revolution

Somehow, despite rampant inflation, constantly devalued currency, stagnant salaries, and all sorts of shortages, young Cubans are turning to drugs in higher numbers than ever (no pun intended). Perhaps Cuba’s youth are responding to the wrenchingly cruel slogan recently crafted for them by Castro, Inc. : “Create your own happiness”. Or, it’s also possible that Castro, Inc. is launching a blame-shifting campaign against Cuba’s youth. Yes, it’s not only the blockade impeding the creation of our utopia, but also these selfish, lazy, good-for-nothing youth.

The revelation by Castro, Inc. that Cuba has a drug crisis means that such a crisis is real, for the Ministry of Truth normally refrains from announcing any news that might make the “Revolution” look bad. The Ministry has also steadfastly denied that Cuba has been a drug trafficking hub for six decades.

So who are these drug users? Two possible answers come to mind: 1. Only oligarchs and Cubans who receive remittances from Yo-Yo relatives in “the diaspora” have spare cash; 2. Cuba is currently dealing with a crime wave, especially robberies. So, it’s highly likely that the drug users are oligarchs, Cubans with Yo-Yo remittances, and criminals. As ever, the majority of Cubans on the island can’t afford any luxuries, including recreational drugs. To “create their own happiness” is absolutely impossible.

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters)

Cuba said on Wednesday illegal drug use is rising on the Caribbean island, a blow to the communist-run nation that has for decades prided itself on controlling the illicit traffic and use of narcotics.

A health official said the island was moving to “control and contain” the growing use of drugs, especially among young people, but acknowledging shortfalls amid an increasingly severe economic crisis.

“In Cuba there has been an increase in recent years (in drug consumption), and adolescents and young people represent the most vulnerable group,” said Dr. Alejandro García, director of the Mental Health Center of Central Havana, in an interview in state-run newspaper Granma.

Cuba`s government has long espoused a policy of “zero tolerance” against drugs, and the island has a long-held reputation for severe punishments for all sorts of crime.

The recent economic downturn, the worst in decades, has been accompanied by a strong perception of rising crime on the island, and an increase in the use of drugs.

“The economic situation is having a great impact for various reasons,” García said, mentioning a decrease in specialized personnel. “There are municipalities that do not have psychiatrists or those who directly address the phenomenon of addictions.”

Cuban authorities said the country`s courts in 2023 had convicted 689 people linked to drug trafficking and use and noted that the Penal Code punishes “possession and trafficking of illicit drugs with penalties from 4 to 30 years in prison, including life imprisonment and up to the death sentence.”

García did not reveal the type of drugs that are being consumed on the island, but said “new chemicals” have surfaced challenging authorities ability to contain their use.

Cuba lies on a key drug trafficking route that has for decades been used by traffickers to transport cocaine, marijuana and other drugs from Central and South America north to the United States by boat and light aircraft.

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