Díaz-Canel confirms the mood of Cubans: "It is critical"

The Cuban president tries to explain why "sugar from the basic basket is conspicuous by its absence", a complaint raised by Cubans from 40 municipalities in 11 provinces of the country.

The ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel He acknowledged this Thursday that the state of opinion of Cubans, regarding the supply of the basic basket, is "very critical and very negative" and, in his opinion, covers "four fundamental dimensions."

The first is that of time, since the population wonders why the delay in the complete distribution of errands is due, "as was done at other times." This is due, he explained, to the fact that in the last months of last year and the first of 2024, there has been "a fractionation" in the distribution of the winery's products.

In his attempt to explain the reasons for the shortage suffered by the Island, the president made reference to "another dimension", which has to do with quality of some products in the basic basket. He also spoke of a third dimension, which is composition of that basket, since, as he explained, there are products that have disappeared or are not given with the same frequency. The fourth and final dimension has to do with the questioning about how they work to guarantee the supply of food, which is vital in the case of Cubans who do not have family abroad and who live exclusively on what reaches the supply book.

Díaz-Canel made these references in the second program "From the Presidency" with which he tries to carry out an exercise in transparency, reading comments that question information given by the Minister of Internal Trade, Betsy Díaz, ensuring that the basic basket was assured in January and February and the reality was very different because, among other comments, he read some who point out that "The sugar in the basket is conspicuous by its absence", an opinion that is reflected in 40 municipalities in eleven Cuban provinces, which leads them to think that this lack "is quite widespread."

Cubans also complain that "the town has been without coffee for three months"; "It seems that it is a counterrevolution to keep the people upset." Furthermore, they wonder, "When will the eggs be brought to the warehouse?" and they complain that "things are getting tighter, there is no minced meat or chicken coming" and that "the diet milk for the sick and children is of no quality and arrives at any time", among other similar comments.

Hence the Cuban ruler's program aims to explain why there is no food in Cuba. In response, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Oscar Pérez-Oliva, assured that there will be "availability of rice until June" and also wheat until part of June to guarantee bread in the warehouse.

Díaz-Canel pointed out at the beginning of his new program, with which he seeks to "clarify states of opinion", that they were going to explain what all the problems that the basic basket is having in Cuba are due to. The explanation is the same as always: you have to import, there is no money and prices have risen.

The Minister of Internal Trade, Betsy Díaz, acknowledged that these are not specific events but rather a situation that has been occurring in the last two years. As a result, products such as pasta and phosphorus have disappeared. He also admitted that they are suffering from a deficit of products "that could not be recovered such as coffee, oil, meat products and eggs.

As the minister explained, among the causes is "a very high dependence on imports", affected, she said, by financing (lack of money) and "prices, which reduce purchasing capacity." The consequence is that by supplying a fractional basket, more fuel is spent on distribution, especially in areas remote from the Turquino Plan, for example, where it is claimed that sometimes they have to go up to three times in the same month.

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