Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Food in Cuba

Food in Cuba
May 16, 2016
Rosa Martinez

HAVANA TIMES — Many things can be said about what people eat in Cuba:
that overall food is becoming more expensive, despite the fact some
prices went down in recent days. The average worker has to work
miracles; either by stealing from their workplace or having an extra
income so that their loved ones won't go hungry.

There's hardly any variety of products, even though we live in a
tropical country and therefore our diet is not rich in vegetables or
fruits and, what's worse, almost all products sold by the State and
private establishments are sugary flour ones (which is why the Cuban
population tends to be overweight).

Even though my story doesn't have to do with our daily bread, this post
is not about the quality of the food we eat or how we manage to make it
through the month earning a mere 500 pesos (the average salary of Cubans
equaling around 20 usd). I promise to tell you about this on another

Today, I will only share with you an experience I wish wasn't real.

Carla is my younger daughter Giselle's best friend. My little one spends
more time with that classmate than with her only sister, for, in
addition to being with her the 8 hours she spends at school, after doing
her homework, she spends at least one or two more hours playing with
her, running around, messing things up or drawing.

The little girl is like another member of our family and she eats with
us frequently. On several occasions, she has slept over and has even
gone with us for visits outside the city.

Owing to the beautiful friendship the girls have, the two families have
had no choice but to establish an intimate relationship as well.

Recently, something very sad happened. It was certainly nothing new and
is in fact a recurrent reality for many low-income families.

Carla's 18-year-old sister arrived at our home looking a bit flustered
and asked to speak to me in private.

She said to me: "Rose, my mom wants to know if you've already cooked
supper and, if things aren't too tight around here, that you send a bit
of what you cooked over, for Carla, who's starving, and there's nothing
to eat down there."

"It's ok, not a problem," I replied immediately. "Just wait two minutes,
I'll look for a container."

While doing this, I started thinking: "If I send a bit of food for Carla
over, what will her father, mother, and sister, who's also at school, eat?"

What's important isn't what I did or didn't do, what interests me is
that her parents are people who work, like I do, and, if they're as
responsible and self-sacrificing as any Cuban worker is, that shouldn't
happen to them, right?

Source: Food in Cuba - Havana Times.org -

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