HAVANA TIMES – Fate would have it that the arrival of the temporary situation (which everyone comically calls the crisis we are currently experiencing here in Cuba), caught me at a time when I’ve been on house-arrest, as I had a household accident which has practically cut me off from the outside world for some months now.
Bad or good fortune wanted me to (directly) miss out on the rough time my fellow Cubans, family and daughters are experiencing.
I say I haven’t suffered it directly because I haven’t needed to get from one side of the city to the other; I only leave home when I have medical appointments
I haven’t been directly hit by zero local and scarce inter-municipal transport, but like any other human being, I need food, personal hygiene and other basic products to live, and I have suffered these shortages just like any other Cuban on the island.
No country can get by without fuel, and Mr. Trump knows this very well, which is why he is hellbent on keeping this blockade which isn’t anything new. The US has been trying to bring about a change of government here for over half a century, but their strategy has always been to hurt the Cuban people (it seems the end justifies the means).
The reality is that every time they tighten the noose, things become bleaker for Cubans. US measures want to stifle the economy, I imagine they don’t know that over 11 million people, including children and elderly people, rely upon the national economy.
In the 21st century, ensuring root vegetables, vegetables and meat supplies is impossible with just yokes of oxen, to plow the earth as well as to transport harvests.
Without fuel, every industry shuts down, from building materials to personal hygiene products, or food industries such as bread, crackers, etc.
Garbage is piling up on street corners and in neighborhoods, important medical services have been suspended, education has been affected and, of course, without public transport people find it even harder to get to school and work, or go to the doctor, get paperwork sorted out and any other errand.
In a nutshell, the entire country comes to a stop.
According to the news, several tanker ships carrying Venezuelan oil have made their way to the island. The situation hasn’t been resolved once and for all, a lot more than 5 or 6 ships are needed to stabilize the distribution of this vital fossil fuel.
Maybe things won’t stabilize in what’s left of 2019. And the Cuban people know this. People are turning to horse-drawn carts; they put together the old bikes they have stored for a long time, as best they can; or they just walk long distances.
We have a new challenge. It isn’t the first one we’ve had on this island that seems to be cursed to perish in poverty. Nobody knows what the future holds, the Empire continues to tighten down and, as we well know, the Cuban government will never give in.
How much longer can we hold out? Nobody knows…