Although not officially released, sources connected with the internal trade confirmed the rumors about new rationing of the already highly rationed foodstuffs and the “basic subsidized basket”. According to the information, which is spreading rapidly through word of mouth, we will see a further contraction of the ever-lacking-supplies ration card. Thus, they say, the scarce “additional” products that were being allotted will disappear, such as pasta (spaghetti and/or macaroni), saltine crackers and the “extra” two pounds of rice “per consumer” that –at a price of 90 centavos each- had been allowed on a monthly basis.
Grains, be it beans or peas, will correspond to 10 oz. per capita, just as one pound of chicken will be distributed to children and seniors only. People between 13 and 65 years of age will be allowed minced soybean and/or mortadella (luncheon meat). Everyone –children and adults of any age- will get a slight, though regular, allowance of tilapia. Meat product distribution, of course, will be fulfilled (I love the phrase that follows) “depending on availability”. There is speculation also about another cut in the allotment of eggs, which will result in only five per person each month. It is important to clarify that the previous reference only applies to Ciudad Havana, the province favored by the greatest benefits of the generous card.
In the midst of the bits of information and assumptions stemming from them, I am reminded of the illustrious Pánfilo, the main character in a short but spectacular video that has recently gone around the world, and I sense the need to endorse his well-known and short stardom. When such an enlightened drunk from El Vedado made his stand in front of the camera, grabbing a space that was not intended for him, he didn’t know –nor did we- that we were about to lose even the dubious right to eat “old chicken” even in its embryonic state. Who could have told us just a few weeks ago, daring Pánfilo, that your courageous and alcohol-induced reasoning would so soon be surpassed by greater poverty than you denounced then?