Havana Between Screams and Silence

Havana is a city of loud people. No sooner has the sun risen (before the roosters start to crow) than yelling begins to be heard over every other city noise: the voice of the neighbor who wakes up those who have no alarm clock, the mothers getting their kids out of bed on school days, the street cries of the baker and screams of an elderly woman asking someone on the curb to turn off the water pump.

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Cuba’s Ration Booklet: A Catalogue of Privations

This is the basic consumer basket of the average Cuban: five eggs and some pounds of rice (the kind that “gets sticky”, not cooked) every month, enough sugar to turn a regular glass of water into an emergency breakfast, one kilogram of table salt (with crystals the size of Ping-Pong balls) once every who knows how many months. Placing these product quantities on the same plane as monthly needs entails a complicated mathematical operation.

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