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BLOG # 112

En Cuba, los deseos de comida y libertad pueden desencadenar un raro día de protesta

BLOG # 112

In Cuba, Desires for Food and Freedom May Spark a Rare Day of Protest


Young dissidents who rely on the internet to spread their ideas are calling for a protest on Monday, a bold move with little precedent in Cuba.

The line starts during the day and stretches into the night. In the dark before dawn, there are hundreds of people waiting. Four women sleep on cardboard boxes, sharing a thin blanket. Others chat to stay awake. A nurse arrives after a 24-hour shift and takes her place.

They each hold a ticket to enter a Cuban government supermarket, which is the only place to find basics like chicken, ground beef and toiletries. At 5:27 a.m. on Wednesday, a man in a fraying baseball cap hands out ticket number 302.

“If you don’t get in line, you don’t buy anything,” said a 35-year-old cook who arrived at 6 p.m. the previous evening and who did not want her name published for fear of retribution.

Even in a country long accustomed to shortages of everything from food to freedom, it has been a remarkably bleak year in Cuba, with Covid-19 restrictions making life under tough new U.S. sanctions even harder.


Cuba, a Caribbean country with so much potential, has had “an unfortunate sequence of events” that have lasted my lifetime. The resilient population that lacked funds to escape the authoritarian regime has struggled to maintain their dignity and creativity. Older generations were more patient, younger generations appear to not be so tolerant of decades of shortages of essential goods and services, in spite of living in a “paradise” looking geographic location, and having free of cost education and health care.

Cuba, un país caribeño con tanto potencial, ha tenido “una desafortunada secuencia de hechos” que han durado mi vida. La población resiliente que carecía de fondos para escapar del régimen autoritario ha luchado por mantener su dignidad y creatividad. Las generaciones anteriores fueron más pacientes, las generaciones más jóvenes parecen no ser tan tolerantes con décadas de escasez de bienes y servicios esenciales, a pesar de vivir en una ubicación geográfica con apariencia de “paraíso” y tener educación y atención médica gratuitas.

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