The new restrictions for travelers increase the tension on the island. “With the tax on food, there is less coming into the country, especially to Cuban families,” said Jesús Reyes, a 42-year-old Cuban, recently arrived from Italy.
Medicines are very important, because when some medication is needed that can’t be found on the island, a family member is asked to send it from abroad. Everyone knows about the “development” of public health in Cuba, so they are limiting the amount that enters for Cuban families.
As for food, this tax already existed but was suspended in 2008 because of the emergency caused by hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Paloma. Food was allowed to come in for free.
It seems the government now has the food supply guaranteed and can satisfy popular demand or simply that harder times are coming.
Translated by Regina Anavy
July 30 2012