Cuba: The long lines outside the stores are the result of the critical condition of the merchandise. In these times, Cuban commerce faces typical situations in the economy. Consequently, due to an economic change, Cubans have to suffer from a shortage of supplies. Cubans have to earn a living from standing in lines. Standing in lines is now becoming their lucrative profession.
Grocery shopping has been a long nightmare for the Cuban public nowadays. Ricardo Barragan, one of the citizen, revealed during the survey, it is true that buying the food items are improving these days. Still, when it comes to his family providing the fundamentals of daily life, then everything becomes complicated.
He also added that you have to spend seven to eight hours in line if you want to buy chicken. He also said that a minimum of 200 -300 people standing in lines would not be surprising. People usually spend hours or a full day getting a sack of rice or meat.
Ricardo Barragan is not the actual name of 59-year-old man Cuban because no one wanted to establish their name regarding this condition.
Barragan is an artisan by profession; he used to do arts and craftwork to earn a living. But as COVID -19 hits the market, the tourism industry, to a large extent, forced him to do casual jobs to sustain his family.
In Cuba, the COVID-19 pandemic is mainly affecting the economic affairs that are decreasing the economy’s growth rate and widening the financial crisis. Tourism is the primary source of income for the island’s communist government is spinning now, which has virtually collapsed.
The Cuban government must reform the currency to improve the “Tourism industry” because the Tourism industry is the primary source of income. Last year, the Havana government tried to decline the wage rate and prices and reformed their currency that scrapped the so-called convertible peso, leaving the non-convertible peso as the only legal tender.
With the existence of the Freely Convertible peso, The US dollars are becoming the Cubans and their government’s choice. With this change, the Cubans can also go but their products with the foreign currency as they have a foreign currency account with a bank and a debit card.
As this technique was working, the shops started charging in only non-convertible peso, which leads to the decline in the supplies. And the people began to face these circumstances.
Cuban lines in front of stores
“The lines are increasing day by day in front of the stores. Due to the pandemic, the people were instructed to visit only a few persons at a time at stores. That led to a big problem for the people to buy their items—the night curfew limiting the opening hours that made matters worse” according to the survey.
The government tried to restrict people to go outside during curfew and gave the instructions of opening hours. With this new rule, the people are forced to do the of lining up themselves in front of the stores to buy the needy items.
However, all are hoping to return to their former jobs as soon as possible. The Cubans are tired now of doing it and hoping that they will be soon at their former positions.
Ramanjot Kaur is a dedicated journalist with a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in economic and political news reporting with incisive analysis and integrity.