Cuban agriculture

Jack’s Magic Beans Still Haven’t Come to Cuba

Jack’s Magic Beans Still Haven’t Come to Cuba
July 19, 2016
By Regina Cano

HAVANA TIMES — Sitting in a flower bed, his feet facing the pavement, a
40-year-old or so man was making conversation with some shining red
beans that lay scattered on the ground before his eyes, which had fallen
out of a bag, where the rest of them sat next to a pack of spaghetti,
while he was saying to them: “…you’re always trying to confuse me…”.

I kept on walking, away from the Cobadonga Hospital located in the Cerro
neighborhood of Havana, unable to interrupt such an unusual conversation
and intimate relationship, while I asked myself if these people who seem
to have another reality where they can withdraw themselves and find
shelter will soon become regular pedestrians on Havana’s streets again,
when the “confusion” comes to hit us all.

There won’t be any magic beans to help the Cuban people put up with
another “Special Period” – economic crisis – like the one we had before,
in spite of ordinary Cubans hoping that now that their financial
positions are slightly better, different to the position they were in
before, will soften the blow a little, and protect their families from
the shock.

And when I say different kinds of financial situations, I include those
of independent sellers, people who have contracts in places that have
foreign investment or new contract arrangements with State institutions
or people who leave the country and work abroad. Nonetheless, there are
still a good number of State workers who depend on their salary – as
well as all of the informal channels in which they can get hold of
money, which are very diverse- from various sources- which includes
money that is sent from abroad by relatives of those who still live in Cuba.

Word is spreading about the upcoming economic shortages we’ll suffer in
the near future here in Cuba, which confirms the clear preventative
measures that the government is enforcing to protect the remaining oil
reserves that they have, so it seems.

There are already some state-run stores and workplaces that close before
the end of the working day, which work in the dark or don’t switch on
the air conditioning, with closed buildings designed for it because of
this unbearable heat.

On the other hand, transport services have decreased, although the
residential sector still hasn’t been affected that much.

People are already talking about the much hated and fearful 8 hour
blackouts returning, as if they were already happening and some people
are even beginning to buy candles for when the lights go out and other
things that may run out soon, investing what little they have in their
pockets on detergent, soap and other important items.

A cousin phoned me from Santiago de Cuba and told me that people were
“hoarding” everything that could run out immediately.

And from what we’ve learnt in the past, people are afraid that this will
become an irreversible reality, soon prices will increase on the black
market that will also hoard things. If Cuba stops receiving oil from
Venezuela, it probably won’t be able to establish a stable oil supply
contract that will allow the country to continue to function.

Unfulfilled dreams will pass all through all of our minds again, always
cautious so that we can get double or more out of something.

And there’s probably a lot of people here praying to their gods that we
don’t have to ride bikes again everywhere, or that we end up with the
famished appearance we had thanks to those bikes and all of the cooking
and non-cooking inventions that we had to concoct.

Yep, fears are a growing in relation to a “Second Special Period”, like
some people are already calling it, while others announce that they
don’t think they’ll be able to live through it all over again and others
are convinced that they won’t live to see it. Will they die or leave the
country? The latter is the most likely to occur.

Source: Jack’s Magic Beans Still Haven’t Come to Cuba – Havana

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