Cuba launches rationing in face of economic crisis

Written by The Associated Press | May 11, 2019 8:56 AM

(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Pura Castell walks to a government-run butcher shop to buy chicken, after failing to find chicken the previous day in Bauta, Cuba, Friday, April 12, 2019. A neighbor informed her that chicken had arrived at the government store that distributes almost free monthly food rations.

(Havana) -- The Cuban government says it will begin rationing chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products in the face of a grave economic crisis.

Commerce Minister Betsy Daz Velzquez told the state-run Cuban News Agency Friday that various forms of rationing would be employed in order to deal with shortages of staple foods.

She blamed the hardening of the U.S. trade embargo by the Trump administration.

Economists give equal or greater blame to a plunge in aid from Venezuela.

Food stores in Cuba are government-run and sell products ranging from highly subsidized to wildly overpriced by global standards.

She said chicken will now be sold in limited quantities, as will low-priced soap, eggs, rice, beans, lentils and sausages.

High-priced goods appear to be unaffected, with the exception of chicken.

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