Cuba’s Cimex and Caribe Stores Will Distribute the Scarce Goods by Municipality and Ration Book

The line this Tuesday to shop in the Plaza de Carlos III, in Havana. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 19 April 2022 — One day after 14ymedio reported the return to the restriction by municipality of residence on the sale in pesos in the Plaza de Carlos III, the official press confirms the measure for the entire capital as of this Thursday 21.

The decision has been made, the Tribuna de La Habana acknowledges this Tuesday, “taking into account the existing situation with the availability of products and with the aim of making sales more viable, achieving greater equity and therefore reducing the crowding of people in the establishments.” That is, because of the shortages and to avoid the long queues.

From now on, warns the local newspaper, “all the products that are sold will be controlled and regulated,” and in the establishments of Cimex and Caribe the “scanning system” for identity cards will be re-established.

The official note details that in the Cuatro Caminos market, only residents of Old Havana and Cerro will be able to buy; in the Plaza de Carlos III, those of Centro Habana and Plaza de la Revolución, and in El Pedregal, those of La Lisa.

It was the Cuatro Caminos shopping center that was the scene, on April 7, of a line that reached a length of almost 20 blocks, and, two weeks before, the area was heavily guarded by the security forces, coinciding with a blackout of the internet that the State telecommunications company Etecsa attributed to an “energy failure.”

The return of this regulation, which was in force to prevent the spread of covid-19 and was repealed at the beginning of November, could be fatal for the Havana municipalities farthest from the center. The disproportion of the number of stores in Plaza de la Revolución, Centro Habana or Old Havana, for example, is enormous compared to the numbers in Arroyo Naranjo, La Lisa or Alamar.

“The other time they did this, it brought a lot of need,” confirms a Luyanó neighbor to this newspaper. “In the two little shops that are in my neighborhood, everyone had to buy one way or another and you had to spend three or four days in a line.” During that time, this woman chose not to leave her house and to order the week’s groceries from her son, who lives in Centro Habana and went to Luyanó on foot, because, due to the pandemic, transportation was also restricted.

Another woman from Havana asked: “When all of Key West has to go to the Carlos III market on the day assigned to them to shop, imagine if they are going to be able to buy a quarter of [what they need]. Many people are not even going to go.”

“They don’t do anything that works,” protested a boy in the line at Carlos III this Tuesday. “Every time they do something, it’s not looking forward, but looking back, like crabs.”


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