Cubans With ‘Illegal Residencies’ Will Receive an ‘Exceptional’ Rationbook

The Ministry of Internal Trade specified that the rationbook will be marked with the word “Covid” on the first page.  The sign in the photo essentially says, “Do not ask to cut into the line.” (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 21 July 2021– People who live ’irregularly’ in a province — that is, without a registered address — and receive the ration system ’family basket’ in their place of origin, can access an “exceptional rationbook” with which they can purchase regulated products.

The new measure contained in Resolution 96/2021 of the Ministry of Internal Trade, will be in force until December 31 of this year, and will take into account those people who “do not maintain an updated address,” do not have the “Certificate of the inhabitability of the dwelling where they currently reside” and have never been “registered or repatriated” before.

This decision comes when the country is experiencing a humanitarian drama that especially affects people in an illegal living situation. It particularly affects people especially in Havana, whose relatives in the provinces, the majority of them in the east of the country, have been sending them the “ration box” to which they are entitled from their home address. This shipment may contain more than one month’s products, and is sent by rail or bus.

With the closure of interprovincial transport due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these people have not been able to access their boxes for months. In addition, with the suspension of the unrationed sale of many products such as rice, sugar and grains, which are now only found in foreign exchange or ration stores, the survival of these people has become increasingly precarious.

The Ministry of Internal Trade specified that the rationbook will be marked with the word “Covid” on the first page, and consumers will have the right to meat, eggs, milk, cleaning and hygiene products, and to rationed bread, but not to domestic fuels.

Entire families have been affected since the pandemic began in March 2020, and the decision, although it has been well received, comes late. There are thousands of people have not had have access to the rationed market because they lived ’informally’ in the capital, where Cubans are required to have permission to live.

“The limitation in the movement of people and the maximum reduction of the paperwork that would support their mobility,” in addition to “the impossibility of consumers acquiring” rationed products, were the justifications alleged by Internal Commerce in the resolution.

In order to obtain this new document, several requirements must be met, which may be requested at the same Consumer Registration Office (Oficoda) where the process will begin. According to the authorities, if it is verified that the information provided is not true, the rationbook will be canceled and “the head of the nucleus [local authorities] will be notified.”


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