Taguayabon, Cuba — The prolonged absence of staples in the “Hard Currency Collection Stores” [as the government itself named them] in Villa Clara, items such as bath soap and powdered and liquid detergent, increase the discomfort and the deplorable economic situation of the people in Cuba’s most central province.
According to one of the clerks at the hard currency exchange kiosk in the village of Taguayabon, a community that belongs to the municipality of Camajuaní, the absence of these important products for grooming and personal hygiene and the family are because of the lack of raw material which the government can produce them. According to her, they are distributed in small amounts from time to time to the various units and points of sale in the province.
Mrs. Aidé María, resident of the city of Camajuani who would not give her last name, said that when the detergent comes to the stores, the lines are enormous and many time they sell large packets of detergent that are very expensive and not everyone is able to buy them. What to say about deodorant in a country where the temperatures are very high and people sweat a log, but there is no deodorant.
Another product that is often scarce is vegetable oil, which is also missing right now from the network of hard currency shops and markets in Villa Clara province. What is sold as the “basic market basket” isn’t enough for the whole month and the quality is doubtful, so people have to have vegetable oil even if they have to invest 2.35 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos), which is more than 50 Cuban pesos, one-third of the average monthly salary, or half a month’s pension.
Cubanet, 13 February 2014, Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez