Food crisis update: Warehouse thefts worth millions of Pesos become common in Cuba

Cuban Socialist Hamburglar

From our Bureau of Side-Effects of Socialist Power Blackouts with some assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Lock and Security Guard Shortages and our Bureau of Socialist Pirates of the Caribbean and our Bureau of Latrine American Hamburglars

This story is so complex it required the participation of four of our bureaus. Food thefts are on the increase in Castrogonia, and in one province alone, the thefts add up to tons of food and millions of Pesos. Yet, Castro, Inc. is apparently powerless to stop the thieves — literally — as most of the stealing is taking place at night during blackouts.

In addition, Castro, Inc. has too few security guards and too few locks on warehouse doors. Aaah, socialist efficiency. not to mention corruption. Many of the thefts seem to be inside jobs, carried out by individuals involved in food distribution. Vamos bien! Requetebien!

Loosely translated from Periodico Cubano

The thefts at 97 warehouses in the province of Las Tunas during 2023 have caused significant economic losses in the Domestic Trade sector, according to statements by official Raymel Espinosa Saborit to the local state-run newspaper Periódico 26.

The widespread crisis, hunger, and the vulnerability of these establishments have made them easy targets for thieves. According to Espinosa Saborit, these criminal acts account for 84.7% of the losses due to thefts or embezzlements in the region.

Puerto Padre is the most affected locality, with 30 warehouses looted and economic losses amounting to 579,890 Cuban pesos (CUP). So far in 2024, there have been another 18 thefts reported in the province’s warehouses, which total 692.

Among the most stolen items are 43,900 pounds of sugar, 30,000 pounds of rice, 1,180 pounds of beans, 927 liters of oil, and other essential basic goods such as coffee, peas, and children’s compotes.

According to reports from the Ministry of the Interior (Minint), which has investigated each of the thefts, the criminal acts are facilitated by poor lighting and the lack of protection in the warehouses. Additionally, thieves know that these places store the little available food in the country.

In this regard, Espinosa Saborit highlights that they are conducting an analysis to convert positions into custodial posts and improve security, but this would not be a definitive solution to the problem, nor would it cover the extensive network of warehouses. Currently, only 44 of the nearly 700 in the eastern province have security guards.

For example, the warehouse El Sazón, managed by Yoel Rey González, was robbed last March. The thieves took sacks of rice, boxes of cigarettes, and soft drinks while the guard had abandoned his post.

In February, the warehouse La Roca was looted in the early morning hours. Malena Reynaldo Sánchez, the administrator of La Roca, recounts that the thieves took everything, from rice to cigarettes. Without a guard, she and her husband have had to watch over the store, investing 28,000 pesos in bars and security, partly funded by the neighbors.

For now, warehouse administrators have been advised to use delay measures (placing bottles and cans on windows) to slow down criminal actions. Another solution is to install bars and locks. Additionally, there are plans to implement a worker guard.

However, most thefts are occurring between 2:00 and 6:00 in the morning, so the thieves have not been seen in action. In this regard, the state-run newspaper Periódico 26 questions, “Robbing an establishment of this magnitude is not about arriving and taking something in five minutes. It requires time and transportation; therefore, it seems like science fiction that no one hears or sees anything, especially since most of the incidents occur in urban areas, with houses nearby.”

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