CUBA NEWS WEEK OF APRIL 19, 2020
COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Cuba, with one-thousand confirmed cases and thirty deaths. Havana and the Isle of Youth have the most cases, but I would put the actual number of cases at well over four thousand and close to one hundred deaths. The numbers here are not following the trends elsewhere and it’s probably because they are not reporting the real numbers. News programs have chosen to highlight arrests of persons procuring food outside of legal channels and the heavy fines the police are imposing for not complying with face-mask regulations. As is usual in Cuba the U.S. embargo is mentioned constantly as the reason things are not going well.
The overcrowded buses that were helping to spread the virus have been eliminated, but stores have several hours-long lines and customers are limited to two of any one product, which leads to everyone having to return to the few stores that are open frequently and help spread the virus.
A quarter of Cuba’s population is over age sixty, while all the top leadership is over age sixty, and many are in their eighties and nineties.
Food has become very scarce, everything from pork and chicken to wheat and cooking oil is extremely difficult to even find.With public transportation shut down it is especially difficult for those in outlying neighborhoods to procure food.