Cuba Ration Lines Grow Tense as Economy Flails

 Cuba has two parallel currencies: National Pesos and Convertibles to Dollars (CUCs). National pesos only buy goods in bulk , limited with a "Libreta" to a fixed quantity each month. Here, a sample of the 10 or 20 staples available in a "Bodega" depending on the week day. Havana (La Habana), Cuba

José de Córdoba writes:

HAVANA—A 91-year-old former comrade of Cuba’s late dictator Fidel Castro recently startled Cubans when he announced government plans to breed ostriches to help feed the masses.

Comandante Guillermo García raved on Cuba’s main TV news show about the giant flightless bird, “which produces more [meat] than a cow.” The comandante, who runs some of Cuba’s cattle-breeding operations, also extolled the meat of the hutia, a giant rodent endemic to the island, as better than beef.

Pushed by the implosion of top ally Venezuela and sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, Cuba has driven into an economic ditch. The government has tightened state rations. Residents stand in lines for hours to buy scarce basic goods such as eggs, flour and chicken.