The Special Period: when in Castro's Cuba they ate cats and drank water with sugar

Cuba denounces that Twitter suspended the accounts of media in government during a speech presidencialTres families of the U.S. include Meliá on the demand for

The Special Period: when in Castro's Cuba they ate cats and drank water with sugar
Cuba denounces that Twitter suspended the accounts of media in government during a speech presidencialTres families of the U.S. include Meliá on the demand for the seizure of CubaEl repressive regime of Cuba, a "key partner" for the EU

After the demise of the Soviet Union, the drastic cuts of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) resulted in Cuba a profound economic and financial crisis . Crisis that the late dictator Fidel Castro would say, with the understatement that has characterized the political rhetoric of the regime, "the Special Period in Times of Peace."

the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, the "Special Period" of the 90s of the last century was a "strategic vision of the Revolution, the Party and the cuban State in which were created by the reserves essential for dealing with different contingencies". The non-conclusion of the programs to investors, the diversion or misuse of resources of the State for works of economic and social, the impossibility of conclusion of the period of "rectification of errors and negative trends", the poor results in certain economic indicators linked to agriculture, industry, domestic production, domestic trade and export were the first symptoms of an economic and financial crisis. These same symptoms that are perceived the current scenario that crosses the island.

Scarcity out of food, shortages of drugs, rationing of all products -from shoes, clothes and articles of toilet-, reduction of working hours in industrial sectors, power cuts electric who came to last between 8 and 16 hours a day, and cuts in transport services, marked the daily life of cubans.

a Bicycle to move

given the impossibility of ensuring a regular service in the public transport, the scheme would implement the distribution of bicycles as a solution for the mobility of citizens. The bike was to become one of the great assets to the cuban family, and in the value of the highest use in the barter after the food.

The most dramatic and picturesque alternatives to ensure the diet basic food and daily followed until reaching levels unthinkable: from shredded peels of bananas up to steak and grapefruit. In the majority of cuban households, in the absence of milk had to resort to the sugar water and half a loaf of bread, 80 grams for the breakfast of children and the elderly, the most vulnerable sectors.

During this period, the regime would authorize citizens to use the common areas to create vegetable growing several for the self-sufficiency, and the rearing of animals-such as pigs and hens - within the own homes, which meant a huge risk of spreading diseases to the minor neglect of cleanliness.

Maybe the most tragic, in terms of power, would come when not a few cubans decided to hunt and feed on cats . What a beginning had been made as unimaginable, as a rumor, ended up being common practice throughout the island and in a tacit agreement among the population, desperate in bringing to the table some food.

The consumption of alcoholic beverages-only product that did not suffer the shortage and that it was guaranteed by the regime-, rose the levels of domestic violence and social , causing them in addition to one of the indexes higher divorce rate and separation of families.

it Would be the decade of the 90's era more dramatic in-migration: tens of thousands of cubans took to the sea on makeshift raft to cross the Florida straits. The "boat people" became a symbol that in itself was denouncing the serious situation in which the regime had plunged the people. Like it or not, the current crisis is the image and likeness of the "Special Period", with a single exception: that the head of State does not carry the last name Castro Ruz.

Updated Date: 13 September 2019, 14:00

ABC ES

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