Photos by Juan Suarez
HAVANA TIMES – The first half of 2021 has been especially hard for Cubans. Since March, the major uptick in Covid-19 positives in Havana and most provinces has combined with even worse shortages of basic foods and medicines. It is not a pretty picture.
For almost two years the government has declared a “temporary” crisis instead of a Special Period II, taking the name of the 1990s crisis, full of bad memories. Back then the culprit was the Soviet Union calling it quits and now it is a combination of the decline of Venezuelan subsidies, the tightened US embargo, and the collapse of tourism due to the pandemic.
As repression steps up against any dissenting voices, life goes on for the general population. The undeclared dollarized economy, the sharp increase in prices, and the ever-increasing shortages are a potent cocktail.
Even the official TV news which usually presents a different reality to what’s on the street is becoming more somber.
Juan Suarez continues to be our eyes particularly in Centro Habana and neighboring areas. Today he gives us a look at what he’s been seeing on the street during April and May.