American Baptists Organize a Shipment to Cuba with Food and Hygiene Products

At the beginning of the year, a pound of rice could be bought in the free market for 5 Cuban pesos (CUP) and now has reached 50 CUP in the informal networks.(EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, June 15, 2020 — A family of evangelical parishioners from Waco, Texas, is organizing a shipment of food and hygiene products at the request of the Baptist Church in Cuba. According to Ken Camp, the publisher of a religious newspaper, Baptist Standard, L.M. Dyson, along with his son Peter, and Christian associations from other states, is coordinating a shipment to the Island of a 40-foot container (more than 12 meters, the largest in maritime transport), with beans, rice, dry soup, oil, diapers and non-prescription medicine.

The organizers of the initiative are hoping to send, says Camp, up to 18 containers with a total value estimated at a half-million dollars for the Baptist churches in Cuba to share with those who need it most. He is scheduling the first of these shipments to arrive at the port of Mariel on July 7.

The publication notes that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 265 million people in the world will suffer severe hunger by the end of this year, and that three-quarters of the food consumed by the 11.4 million inhabitants on the Island is imported.

The arrival of the pandemic in Cuba has aggravated the food-shortage situation, especially the supply of grains, oil and rice. On the informal market, this last product has multiplied in value by ten, and if, at the beginning of this year a pound of rice could be bought in the free market for 5 Cuban pesos, now it costs 50 in the informal networks.

Recently, the city government of Miami and the Foundation for Panamerican Democracy called on citizens to donate “staples” to help the Cuban people confront the COVID-19 crisis through the “Solidarity among Brothers” initiative.

The donations were collected in the Convention Center in the Winwood neighborhood, and it was announced that the shipment would be sent to Cuba and later distributed through a network of Catholic churches.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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