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Here is the breakfast and snack of Cuban children that the Government says is scarce

While Cubans suffer from a serious shortage of bread and they have to stand in long lines to buy even the one that corresponds to them by the ration book, The Government does not hide that the alleged flour supply crisis for the preparation of this food is only for citizens who do not have dollars.

Only days ago it transpired that the Market of 3ra and 70 of the Playa municipality, in Havana, sold in Freely Convertible Currency (MLC) bags of bread of different varieties made by Home Deli, one of the private businesses approved by the Government. But after becoming public, the sale was suspended.

Nevertheless, there are other markets where the flour crisis does not seem to have made a dent: virtual stores that sell products made and distributed in Cuba, but paid for in dollars from abroad.

A brief tour of these virtual bazaars looking for bread and flour offers a very different picture. to which ordinary Cubans without relatives abroad find themselves.

MallHabana, for example, sells a combo of 42 loaves for nine dollars that it even distributes at no extra cost. The bag contains six units of bon bread, another six of sandwich bread and 30 mini loaves. The offer appears “in stock”, so there is no shortage.

The bread bags in this market are also associated with various meat products, normally used to prepare entrepanes: cheese, chorizo, lettuce and ham. A) Yes, MallHabana sells them even under the categories of breakfasts and snacks, just what Cuban parents need to prepare food for their children to take to school ahead of the new school year.

I keep shopping and discover that Bazaar Giftthe state-owned Amazon, has the once-coveted Pinocchio soda crackers on sale. For 15.50 dollars they take home the 2,145-kilogram can that disappeared years ago from the markets in Cuban pesos and is offered as “ideal for snacks.” Of course, this product is only available for distribution in Havana.

It is not difficult to notice here that virtual businesses have prepared their offers aimed at families who can afford the light meals that children take to school. The Pinocchio cookie tin appears, for example, among the “Deals of the week”, as any market would with seasonal products.

In Alawao the offer is of specialties: You can choose from at least 11 varieties of cake for birthdays or celebrations. There are butter cream and chocolate, truffles, cream and strawberry cream, just to mention a few.

In addition, there is a birthday buffet with a dozen types of fine sweets, one and a half liter bottles of cola and… two bags of bread.

But it’s the bakery Supermarket23, business that has been related to the commander of the Revolution Guillermo García Frías, who has an offer of envy. There are loaves of bread, sliced ​​loaf, hamburger buns, baguettes, packets of saltine crackers, bread sticks and toast, garlic bread, basil bread, onion bread, “rustico de leche”, garlic and rosemary, Italian-style flatbread , biscuit, tartlets, guava foot…

Who said there is a shortage of bread in Cuba? How is it that there is no flour and private businesses stopped selling products made with that raw material to avoid reprisals from the inspectors?

While all those non-imported foods are available to those who can afford them, a resident of Havana sacrifices himself to pay for the bag with nine rolls at 70 Cuban pesos or more. That is, if the vendor of the cart passes by your street when you are available. And if you can afford it at that price, which everything advertises, it will continue to rise.

With an official exchange rate of 123.60 pesos per US dollar and with the MLC exceeding 140 pesos on the black market, buying flour products from virtual stores is a pipe dream, if it were possible to pay for them from the Island. The minimum wage in Cuba is 2,100 pesos.

Last August 23, the Cuban government recognized that there are difficulties in importing wheat flouralthough emphasizing that, in his enormous kindness, it ensured a limited distribution of bread in state bakeries and sale through the ration book.

According to the Ministry of Domestic Trade (MINCIN), the situation is due to the “tightening” of the US embargo and “the current international logistics crisis, in addition to” the financial limitations of the country.” That, while the official media bombard people with news about the rise in flour prices in the world due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. conflict that Havana supported.

Nevertheless, Bread shortages are not new, although they have now worsened. Since March 2019, Díaz-Canel himself has already recognized the lack of food, along with that of other basic products.

From then to date, The Government has developed several experiments to alleviate the problem, such as using pumpkin pulp, corn flour, chickpea or cassava to make bread. Until now, all without visible result in the offer. Indeed, none of those are sold in virtual markets.

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