14ymedio, Mercedes Garcia, Sancti Spiritus, October 14, 2021 — For many residents of Taguasco in Sancti Spiritus province, their town is peaceful to the point of being silent. So it can be big news if a spectacular car accident occurs on the section of the central highway that passes through the area. Or if a lot of travelers stop at one of the restaurants on the edge of the highway to get eat something to eat.
However, a bigger uproar echoed through corners of this small town on Tuesday: there was chicken for sale. With ration books in hand, two households could get a box of it at the Caribe chain’s Nueva Imagen store and then divide it in half.
Chicken, which rarely appears at unrationed state-run stores, has seldom been seen for months, particularly in a town like Taguasco. Unlike in provincial capitals, where consumer products come on market with greater frequency, supply here is sporadic.
It has been virtually impossible for consumers to buy whole boxes of chicken in recent years. Due to the country’s economic crisis, only small packets of a few kilograms can be found at the network of state-run stores. And only hard currency stores are still selling whole chickens, chicken breasts and quarters.
Hence the commotion in Taguasco, not only because the long-awaited animal protein suddenly appeared but also because customers were allowed to buy it in greater volume.
The chaotic waiting line lasted until supplies ran out. There was no shortage of people trying to crash it. Someone in line left, disrupting the order and leaving things even more disorganized, with arguments erupting among those still waiting.
For more than a year, the provincial government has required consumers to present a ration card before being allowed to buy unrationed essentials. The measure was adopted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and, according to authorities, would allow for “greater control and equitable distribution.”
Since then there have been frequent complaints, as there were on Tuesday in Taguasco when some boxes of chicken ended up on the black market. The local press reported that someone who had bought the chicken was selling it outside a shopping mall without having taken any home.
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