*** ----> With little to buy, Cubans abroad send home food, not money | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

With little to buy, Cubans abroad send home food, not money

AFP | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Maria Paez feels relieved after receiving a package of food items including eggs, ham, and yogurt from her children in Miami -- bought online and shipped to Havana.

These days, with a severe economic crisis and food shortages, Cubans abroad increasingly prefer to send care packages to family back home, rather than cash transfers. “Receiving these types of products is a relief for us” and, “in terms of spending money, the savings are substantial,” Paez, a 59-year-old mathematics graduate told AFP.

“Receiving eggs is very important” because “it is a guaranteed breakfast,” added Paez, who has lived alone with her husband since their two children emigrated to the United States.

In total, she received 18 products, a lifeline in Cuba which is facing its worst economic crisis in three decades, with shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

After several years of double-digit inflation, a carton of 30 eggs now costs 3,300 pesos ($27,50) on the communist island, where the average salary is 4,800 pesos.

Cuba’s bleak economic circumstances have pushed some five percent of the population to flee in recent years. Online stores offering the delivery of essential products to Cuba have flourished as demand rises.

Most are based in the United States -- home to two million Cubans -- but they have also cropped up in Mexico, Canada, and Spain.

Every day dozens of delivery vans and private vehicles can be seen on the streets of Cuba distributing packages of food items that are in short supply, or whose prices have skyrocketed since the government authorized private-owned stores in 2021.