A Message From The Frontline in Cuba

A Message From The Frontline in Cuba

As some of you will no doubt already know, I am trying to raise some funds for ordinary people in Cuba to buy basic food supplies and hygiene products such as tampons and soap. Things really are that bad there. But don't take my word for it. Here is an email I received this morning. It is from an Englishman who have chosen to make Cuba his home. He has no reason to exaggerate. He paints a fairly grim picture of what is happening there. If you feel moved to do so, please consider chipping in the price of a latte to help buy basic supplies.

"Dear Eugene

Many thanks for getting in touch and best of luck with this kind gesture.

Cuba has had it very tough this last 3 years with Trump squeezing them in every way.

Last June he cancelled US cruise ships coming to Cuba, losing 20,000 tourists a week. He also cancelled all private US yachts and planes from coming to Cuba, a smaller market, but very high value per head spend......

In December he Cancelled all flights from USA to 10 regional airports around Cuba, dropping another 20,000 tourists a week and many regular Cuban mules going back and forth to the US bringing products and money to relatives.....

Then Trump stopped Western Union from transferring cash payments to Cuban relatives...  meaning that no money can be sent via the banking system to Cuban families.  These payments to Cubans from foreign family and friends represented around 40% of the local economy!!!

So many Cubans have lost their livelihoods from tourism and trading products back and forth.

Then now Corona......

So the answer is that people's priorities and requirements have changed away from things they "want" to things they "badly need".

They really need the basics here.  Food is number one shortage, particularly chicken and eggs, and they don't really care which came first.....

Rice and beans are the staples served with most meals.  But right now that is most meals, as they can't find and meat, fish or other proteins.

Very few Cubans use deodorant as they are spotlessly clean and hygienic, so they are far more interested in soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tampons, and anyone with kids' baby wipes, nappies etc

As it is impossible for you to help everybody.  It may be better to find a neighbourhood which you have a connection with through friends.  And make some more direct local assistance.

Such as identifying all the old people who don't have family or friends to look after them. Then set up, and fund, a local purchasing team who go to the markets once or twice a week to buy them fresh fruit, veg, rice, beans and some chicken, pork, or fish to fish out to the people who really need it.

Living in Cuba we all support friend and other Cubans around us as much as possible. Especially in tough times. But our own resources are also being stretched as we have the office closed, no flights, no ships  no tourists, so no income.....

If there is anything we can do to help, we would be delighted. But we are still in house quarantine after 10 weeks with no definite end confirmed.....

With very best wishes..."