The production of bread with wheat flour throughout Cuba is having severe effects. The island is going through a liquidity crisis that has left it without resources to buy wheat in the international market, which is why it has arranged that 20 percent of the flour used to make bread be made of corn, squash or cassava.
In addition, in cities like Havana the free sale of bread, cookies and sweets has been prohibited due to the shortage of flour.
The official press assured that it was necessary to readjust the ingredients to “guarantee availability to prioritized destinations”, among which is tourism.
“Thanks to that directive there was no reduction in the plan and the product, although its texture and flavor change a little, it maintains the necessary volume and quality,” said Daniel Cobas Cheda, director of the Cuban Bread Company.
María de los Ángeles del Rey Batista, director of inspection of the National Office of State InspectionHe assured the ruling party that “emphasis is being placed on controlling the quality of bread with the new formulation.”
“It is recognized that it is not the same flavor, as it has slight variations, appearing above all by the granulation of the corn flour that causes changes in the crust,” said the leader, who also stated that there is “acceptance” by the customers.
In Cuba all the bakeries are owned by the State. With no competition or options to buy elsewhere, customers have no choice but to buy the bread sold to them by government institutions.
“The bread tastes like salted corn. The one from before was already bad, this one is even worse, ”said Francisco Rodríguez, a resident of Santiago de Cuba.
“It was assumed that once the price of bread was raised – it went from costing 0.05 cents in December to 1 peso in January – the quality would improve because it was no longer subsidized. Instead everything has gotten worse, ”complained Rodríguez, whose retirement is barely enough to eat.
The Cuban regime is going through its worst crisis in three decades due to what economists consider a perfect storm: the coronavirus pandemic, the exhaustion of the Soviet model of state-owned companies and the debacle of its ally, the Nicolás Maduro regime.
In debt and without access to external sources of financing due to its terrible credit reputation, Cuba has had to make significant cuts to imports, which has resulted in shortages and long lines in stores.
In the midst of the pandemic, the regime implemented a plan of urgent economic reforms such as the elimination of the convertible peso and the partial dollarization of the economy that has raised the cost of living and pulverized the purchasing power of Cuban workers.
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