In Camajuani, Cuba, Unrationed Bread Disappears

A horse-drawn cart distributes the rationed bread in Camajuaní. (Librado Linares)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 May 2020 — As of this Monday, May 18, the inhabitants of the town of Camajuaní in Villa Clara will no longer be able to buy the so-called “liberated bread” — that is bread that isn’t rationed — and will only be able to consume the bread sold on the rationbook with the aggravating circumstance that they can only buy their quota on alternate days.

As the activist Librado Linares explained to 14ymedio, the bread is distributed from the three bakeries that bake for the ration stores directly to the points of sale “as in medieval times,” that is in a horse-drawn cart. The activist also points out deficiencies in storage and hygiene mark the transfer.

Linares, who is an observer from his community and leader of the opposition Cuban Reflection Movement, denounces “a ramshackle infrastructure, poor quality and irregularities in the supply of inputs, and low wages, which is all reflected in the results, and protective and hygienic measures that verge on the imaginable.”

For decades, the quality of bread has been one of the most frequently discussed problems in the ’accountability assemblies’ that constituency delegates hold with their constituents. This Tuesday breakfast was served with the bread that was made on Monday: “Eating it fresh is already a heroic thing, imagine when it’s been more than 24 hours,” commented a resident of the town.

Camajuaní was one of the Cuban municipalities that was under a strict quarantine until last Friday due to Covid-19. The municipality had two transmission events, “which kept its inhabitants on edge for almost a month, and which also included the 26 de Julio agricultural production cooperative,” the official press reported.

The nine blocks that make up the popular council were under confinement since April 16, when a traveler from Spain was confirmed as positive, to which 10 more cases were added. The epidemiological situation forced the monitoring of some 300 people, including one who died.

“After the end of the measure was decreed, there was applause and happiness among the inhabitants of the area, who until now have been confined to their homes in a disciplined manner,” says the state-run Granma newspaper, which made no mention of the food supply, especially the lack of bread suffered by the town.


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