Operation Cosmetics: Products Missing From Cuban Markets for Months Reappear

Agricultural markets in Havana suddenly offered special supplies hours before Christmas Eve. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Natalia López Moya, Havana, 25 December 2021 — After a year marked by shortages, in the last days of December the Cuban government has launched an effort to try to erase the image of the empty market stalls. Agricultural markets in Havana experienced a special supply hours before Christmas Eve. Vegetables, legumes, meats and even fruits that had not been seen together for a long time came up for sale.

“The pallets are full and the prices are less exaggerated than in previous days,” said a man at the entrance of one of these premises, who also noted the presence of inspectors from the municipal government. “Sure they come to look on their own account, these days they always sharpen their teeth,” the man whispered.

The strategy, however, was not enough to fill all of Havana’s markets nor to satisfy customers who continue to regret that prices remained very high despite the slight reduction. Others, spoke sarcastically about the evident objective of “making up the scarcity” in the face of “the Christmas photo” and expressed their fears about a twist in the deficit in the coming weeks.

“What I want to know is where all this merchandise was put, surely in January they will be empty again,” commented a lady while reviewing the list displayed in a market in the Cerro municipality. Pineapples, cabbages and tomatoes fail to appease popular unrest in the midst of one of the hardest economic crises of the last half century on the Island.


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