Cuba Runs Out of Paper to Print the Ration Books

The lack of paper due to “import delays” affected the delivery of the ration books for 2022, according to the Ministry of Internal Trade (MINCIN). (Granma)

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba has run out of paper to print the ration books for 2022. There are “delays in the import of raw material for printing,” reported a publication from the Ministry of Internal Trade. As a result, the “preparation and distribution” of the document, which is required for consumers to be able to buy their subsidized rations, is delayed.

Until the new ration books are issued, the brief statement reads, in the western and central provinces the 2021 booklets will be used. And to avoid confusion, “the products purchased will be crossed out” before making the annotations of the products in “the lines available in the sheets for January and February” of 2022.

The number 22 will be specified “in the annotations, to signify the year to which they correspond, then the product, the quantity to be delivered and the date of purchase.” New ration books should be available “no later than January 30, 2022.”

In the absence of more precise details, Roberto wondered: “In the case of milk and bread, how will it be recorded? If that is daily and the corresponding boxes are full?”

The information was repeated last Friday on the Facebook wall of the Government of the Camagüey province, where users showed their annoyance. “How things are and how they look for the future, I think that with the space left over from 2021, they can use the same booklet until 2025 and thus save imported paper. What a pillar of a knightly system,” said Ulises González.

“If there isn’t even enough money for the thin notebook,” lamented Yurito Mestre lamented, “what awaits the supplies?” Meanwhile, Gloria María, stated: “For what they give, it would be better if they did away with it.”

“There is no paper for the ration cards, but is there money to import high-end cars?” commented Yoaen, originally from Sancti Spíritus.

There were also reactions from the province of Artemisa, where the measure was also made known. “God, we don’t have any paper for the ration book,” wrote Elisabet Veloz. “Something as simple as that, what does that say about food for 2022.”

Implemented in 1962, the rationed market has marked the lives of several generations of Cubans. Although over the years the variety and quantity of the products offered has been decreasing significantly, the State spends more than one billion pesos a year in subsidies for these foods that barely last a third of the month.

During the public debates on the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines promoted by the Communist Party, in 2010 and 2011, the possible elimination of the ration book was the issue that provoked the most comments and fears in the population. Then, its end seemed imminent, but the economic crisis and the pandemic reinforced its presence.

The booklet became essential to make purchases, even in the unrationed stores and now it is mandatory to present the booklet to buy products such as frozen chicken, vegetable oil and other basic foods in the markets in Cuban pesos that operate in parallel to the rationed market.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

11 thoughts on “Cuba Runs Out of Paper to Print the Ration Books

  • The embargo would be gone quickly if Cuba had free and fair elections with legal opposition parties that are given total unhindered media access and free movement.

    But communist regimes are brutal tyrannies that work through fear, beatings, threats, firings, expropriations and list goes on and on.
    And they know what they are, thus the ruthless Cuban dictatorship never gives an inch.

    Autocratic thug regimes are getting worse not better. It’s like another virus.

  • Olga, I would agree with you when you say that Yoani is very daring.
    She does remarkably well given the restrictions in Cuba. She stays in Cuba to continue with her critique. Her media outlet is very good quality and she has managed to create a role for herself as a thorn in the Cuban Government’s side. She’s made a whole career for herself and I totally respect that. Her propaganda represents a refreshing alternative to the propaganda of the Cuban Government.
    I entirely understand criticism of the Cuba Government.
    Life in Cuba is difficult. What I do not understand is how some people in the USA support policies, totally condemned by the rest of the world and totally condemned by Yoani which are specifically designed to make life in Cuba even more difficult than it already is.
    Olga, if you have so much respect for Yoani, how is it that you support these sick US policies toward Cuba which she condemns and which are designed to make a bad situation even worse?
    Yoani is against these sick US policies aimed at securing FLA Electoral College Votes and I would agree with her.

  • Nick, How daring is this woman to truly criticize the revolution that equally distributes misery. And if you raise your voice and protest they put you in jail for 15 or 30 years What a perfect system! I really don’t understand how anyone can’t criticize a system that doesn’t work and only helps the dreams of the anti capitalist people.

  • This is some truly wonderful Yuletide propaganda from Yoani…….
    There are countries which the downpresser parts of the world traditionally and condescendingly describe as ‘Third World’. Of these so called Third World countries, very few try to ensure a basic nutritional level for the entirety of their inhabitants.
    Cuba has attempted to do this. Their attempt is entirely imperfect.
    But what’s the answer?
    To blame Cuba for the imperfections of its attempts??
    Conversely, the prevailing Capitalist ideology of ‘every man for himself’ is apparently worshipped by many of those who contribute here.
    There is a terrible amount of child malnutrition in the poorer parts of the Capitalist world.
    This was referred to in the great Charles Dickens allegorical Christmas story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Children in the Capitalist world in 1843 suffered from abject poverty and malnutrition and many children in Capitalist countries still do now.
    If all children in the Capitalist world had enough to eat then swivel-eyed, one-sided criticisms of places such as Cuba would have far greater validity……
    Merry Christmas to one and all !!

  • There is a better chance i win the lottery than these communist clowns running Cuba win a real election with opposition parties.
    I guess that’s why they don’t have them.
    Incompetent tyranny in Cuba is an embarrassment.

  • Wow, Olga you’ve been to North Korea? Sounds like you have if you know the Metro there arrives on schedule.

  • Once again Dan, like some other Cuban government apologists, are allergic to articles that describe real Cubans daily life problems and the failings of the system and policies imposed on them. For Dan, Cubans should be writing only about how the USA embargo causes any and all of their problems. As to the internal blockade and failed food policies, for example, Cubans should put up or shut up or leave if they can, until the US Republicans decide to lift the embargo. No need to try and improve their own country since everything is determined by the US.

  • Dan, the Cuban regime can buy paper anywhere without any interference from the “embargo” but the regime has other priorities. The Cuban regime can buy paper from Haiti that despite being poor and chaotic is more functional productively than Cuba. But the Cuba probably used the budget of buying paper in repressive technology from China. How come North Korea that has an Embargo, doesn’t get Remesas, neither tourism is more functional that Cuba? A least the Metro in North Korea arrives on Schedule.

  • Again, rule number one for these types of articles : Do not, repeat do not mention or allude to the fact Cuba is subject to an embargo and a plethora of other sanctions, expressly designed to make the Cuban economy fail. If you have to refer to it at all, do so in the context of labeling this historically unprecedented attack as an “excuse” by the government. There are plenty of individuals who will believe you.

  • Cuba is slowly sinking into the oceans that surround it and the government don’t give a toss. They have the wealth to move anywhere in the world if need arises leaving the masses as usual to pick up the pieces. No paper yet new hotels being built on the malecon ????? Shame on the government.

  • La continuidad del socialismo Cubano.
    The continuity of Cuban socialism. Poor Cubans, they have made so many sacrifices believing all those falses hope. And today they do not have even an aspirin to calm thus horrendous headache.

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