Havana, CUBA- As a result of ongoing supply and logistics problems, Havana’s provincial government said Tuesday that its state-run shops will begin to limit food sales to residents of municipalities where they are located.
This new regulation, which takes effect on Thursday, is designed to “achieve greater equity and as a result, reduce the agglomeration of people in the establishments” of the Caribe and Cimex chains, the provincial administration said.
Additionally, all purchases will be recorded in the customers’ ration books, as part of the reinstatement of measures that were implemented during the worst phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the Cuban capital and its surroundings, the Havana province has nearly half the country’s population of 11.2 million people.
As Cimex reported recently, diapers are in short supply throughout Cuba, and the island’s Communist government has admitted that domestic production of food staples such as pork and sugar has fallen short of targets.
As part of Cuba’s food sovereignty effort, President Miguel Diaz-Canel introduced a draft law to parliament in February with the intent of boosting agricultural output and reducing dependence on imports.
The official figures indicate that Cuba buys 60 percent to 70 percent of its food from the international market, at a cost exceeding $2 billion a year.
At present, the rules announced Tuesday do not apply to hard-currency shops, which are generally well-stocked but remain inaccessible to the vast majority of Cubans.
Inflation on the island has been caused by a combination of supply disruptions due to the pandemic, and the tightening of the economic embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba since 1962.