Cuba-geddon? Amid COVID Crisis, Havana Tells Citizens To “Grow Your Own Food” Or Starve

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Cuba, facing one of the worst food shortages in years, is now telling its citizens to grow their own food, or literally starve.

The pandemic has exposed the fragility of the Caribbean island’s food supply chain as produce, poultry and other basic item shortages develop.

The topic of food security has been a hot subject with the communist party. Several state media broadcasters aired televised roundtable discussions about the issue, reported Reuters.

“Cuba can and must develop its program of municipal self-sustainability definitively and with urgency, in the face of the obsessive and tightened US blockade and the food crisis COVID-19 will leave,” Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, deputy leader of the Cuban Communist Party, was quoted on state media Monday. 

Cuba imports about a third of its food, at the cost of $2 billion annually. Those imports have plunged under the Trump administration, which imposed new sanctions on the country in 1H19.

The sanctions triggered shortages of imported food and then steep declines in national agricultural production. Domestic production of rice, tomatoes, and pork plummeted 18%, 13%, and 8% respectively last year – we noted the communist party had to issue widespread rationing of staple foods last year due to shortages triggered by US trade embargo.

Sanctions and a virus pandemic, have created a perfect storm that has crushed the nation’s food supply chain and economy.  – READ MORE

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