HAVANA TIMES – For many, Cuba is no longer the safe country, the paradise of tranquility that travel agencies promote. Something as mundane as taking out your cell phone on the street or walking alone at night is a game of Russian roulette without the glamor of Las Vegas. Reports from citizens and the independent press confirm an increase in violence in the first five months of 2023.
On June 6, 2023, the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Monsignor Dionisio García, denounced the escalation of crimes, after the parents of the priest Leandro Naun Hung were assaulted by people who broke into his home to rob him. “May the honest and safe life that we need and deserve take over our cities and homes,” said the parish priest through the archdiocese’s social networks.
Along with growing insecurity, inflation has become the main star of the domestic economy. Expert calculations place it at 200%. So, it is not surprising that a carton of 30 eggs tripled its price in the last 12 months and that it cost between 1,600 and 2,000 pesos in the informal market. At state retail stores, things are not looking good either. According to data from the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI), year-on-year inflation in the formal market reached 45.69% in April 2023, amid extreme shortages.
As security becomes a luxury and the economy looks like an unbalanced board game, the Cuban government continues to pursue the dream of what people have called the “Russification 2.0” of the Cuban economy.