14ymedio, Mercedes García, Sancti Spíritus, 11 May 2021 – In the city of Sancti Spíritus, the bread sold in the rationed market will be available only to the city’s children and the, state employees have informed customers. “Due to the shortage of flour, we cannot guarantee the product for all consumers,” a worker from a local site in the Kilo 12 neighborhood confirmed to 14ymedio.
“Bread will be sold only for minors or the elderly,” details the state employee, who gave the bad news to buyers who came to the counter this Tuesday. “We still do not know if it will be a measure for a short time, but it may be that it will take weeks before we can sell to everyone again.”
“Children up to the age of eight and those over 65 from each family nucleus will be the ones who will be able to receive the product,” he explains. “It will be bread made partly from wheat flour with other mixtures, but we will try to ensure that every day all consumers who meet these requirements receive it.”
The supply cut has been anticipated for weeks, because unrationed bread, which is sold from the so-called special bakeries, has disappeared. “At first they had a larger bread, with a hard crust, but later the raw material stopped coming and they started making soft bread at six pesos each,” recalls Lizabel Fundora, a regular buyer.
“Before, I used to come as often as twice a day and buy that bread, which was more expensive but also a little tastier than the rationed bread,” says Fundora. “But these bakeries are now empty or closed, the only possibility that remained was the rationed bread and with this latest news some of us will also no longer be eating it.”
Others believe that the now restricted product can no longer even be called “bread.” “Without fat, without salt, without yeast and it still costs one peso,” Ana María, the grandmother of two children, tells this newspaper. Her two grandchildren will continue to receive their regulated quota, but as she has not yet reached 65 years, they will not sell any for her.
“Sometimes they sold it hard, with a medium greenish color or with an acid smell,” the woman details. “But for many families that bread, even as bad as it was, was an important support that is now limited.” Ana María thinks that “adolescents eat a lot of bread, especially now that so many areas are closed and they cannot leave their homes. And why isn’t there bread for them?”
The bread situation has worsened throughout the country and the crisis has reached the Cuban capital where this week it was announced that the products sold outside the rationed market “will be reduced by approximately 30%” as of this Monday due to “the effects on the availability of wheat flour.”
During the last year, but especially since January, buying bread in the unrationed market is only possible in the capital, and requires standing in a several hours long line at private businesses where bread that a few months ago cost 25 pesos now sells for 50. Similarly, the prices of sweets, pizzas and all products made with flour have doubled.
According to the official press, Cuba expects to purchase 770,000 tons of wheat in the international market of this year, at a cost of 240 million dollars.
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