US NGOs and Cubans abroad sent food to Cuba

US NGOs and Cubans abroad sent food to Cuba

HAVANA, Nov. 6th  Organizations of the United States and Cubans residing in the United States sent this Friday more than eight tons of canned tuna and pasta to Cuba, which suffers a strong food and medicine shortages.On a charter flight from Miami, dozens of boxes arrived at the Havana international airport, which according to the organizations Lazos de Amor, People’s Forum and Codepink, they will be succeeded by more shipments of vegetable oil and powdered milk, practically disappeared from the shelves of Cuban stores.

“Most of Cubans living outside of Cuba want a normal relationship with their nation, they want what is normal to be restored, ”said Carlos Lazo, leader of the Puentes de Amor organization.

The tightening of this embargo by the government of former US President Donald Trump, which his successor Joe Biden has kept intact, as well as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, have exacerbated food and medicine shortages on the island.

“In the midst of a pandemic, political considerations must give way to human considerations,” Lazo said upon arrival at the José Martí International Airport.

The three organizations had made a few months ago shipment of 6 million syringes to support the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 on the island.

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Cubans were forced to stand in long lines to buy food, the prices of which increased by 60%, according to regime figures, and in the informal market, to which many have to go, they shot 6,900%.

During the peak of the pandemic this year, Cuba received tons of donations from countries such as Russia, China, Vietnam, Mexico and Nicaragua, among others.


Under strict measures of social distancing and health control, Restaurants and bars in 8 of Cuba’s 15 provinces reopened in October, closed since January due to the coronavirus.

But, after the joy at the news, the harsh reality arrived: exorbitant prices that led many to publish photos of their receipts accompanied by scandalized comments on social networks.


A construction employee, Miguel Carcache, opted to have a bottle of tequila with his friends on the reef, enjoying the sea breeze, one of the main attractions of the walk, located in the west of the capital.

“If I earn 3,000 pesos a month ($ 125) and beer is worth 150 (about $ 6), can I come here (to the restaurant)? No. This is crazy, a crazy thing, not even in Dubai are prices like that, ”he complains.

Astronomical prices and full restaurants, an apparent contradiction that only finds logic in the hidden twists and turns of an underground economy, where the dollar orders and rules.

“My aunt Nena and I had to sell cell phones to have a snack at 1st and 70th,” The local comedian, Adrea Doimeadiós, made fun of it in a recent interview.

Cuba is experiencing its worst economic crisis since 1993, due to the impact of the pandemic on tourism, one of its main economic engines, and the strengthening of the US embargo. Their imports have been drastically reduced, exacerbating food and medicine shortages. With information from AFP