Cubans are pretty used to waiting in queues for every daily utility item from bread to toothpaste, often during the scorching summer days with no access to a restroom or drinking water, and constantly worrying about going home empty-handed, every Cuban citizen has witnessed this.
It has been a daily routine for the Cubans for around 60 years under communist rule, which has now deteriorated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a steep economic downturn and tightened US restrictions.
One of the shoppers said, “I have almost spent the whole night here waiting in the queue to buy something; it is not everybody’s cup of tea. It has been a kind of sacrifice by one to afford something to eat.”
One of the housewives said, “she had taken place in the queue at around 1:00 AM, and she left around after 11 hours just ahead of the noon. “It was worth it, because I got what I want to buy, but I have to queue up again.”
She said while heading towards her home with two litres of oil, two packets of chicken, some minced meat and detergent.
Cuba official inflation rate was 70% in 2021, and when the economy recovered a modest 2% after an 11% drop in 2020, signalling the country’s worst economic crisis in nearly three decades.
Food imports, which were worth more than $2 billion per year before the pandemic, had to be substantially reduced in the nation of 11.2 million people due to the diminishing government reserves.
As per the government in May, imports, which generally fulfil the 80% of the island, were at their lowest level since 2009.