14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 4 August 2022 — “People here are not used to these blackouts,” a woman said aloud when leaving the market on 19th and B on Wednesday. Known in the capital as the food boutique, this store stands out for always being well stocked, especially compared to others found all over the island, but the customer left the place with only two plantains in hand.
The arrival of the blackouts, however, has had a full impact on the market. The offers are poor and no one wants to be inside the establishment, in the middle of the power outage scheduled for Vedado from early in the morning.
“Buy from me, even if it’s half a melon, mi vida, I already want to leave,” a saleswoman, fan in hand, implored a customer who was passing by her stand. “I’m suffering from this heat, and my bursitis makes matters worse,” she lamented.
In the busy square yesterday you could barely find half a kilo of tomatoes for 200 pesos, Chinese plums at 60 and carrots or beets for 80 pesos a pound.
At noon, many stalls were already closed. The sellers preferred not to continue enduring the heat in the midst of the lack of electricity and left, but people kept arriving trying to get something, despite the high prices. The fear that when the electricity service was restored there would be nothing left overcame their little desire to be there.
The sellers of the informal market didn’t swarm around the place yesterday either. “I have milk, hot dogs, picadillo, even lobster.” The whispers that don’t stop normally weren’t heard this Wednesday.
A merchant announced sarcastically as he picked up his cassava and malangas: “Get your solidarity here, I’m leaving.”
“But compañero, don’t you think solidarity is necessary?” another asked him ironically. “Of course, of course, solidarity. But I am like this revolution, which has said enough and needs to go,” he replied, exploding like a bomb, while behind his back there was tremendous laughter.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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