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Cuba: Havana Amid Shrieks, Uneasiness and Hoarding

Running into crowds at stores and markets is becoming common in Cuba’s capital city. Desperate people hoard: eggs/ rice/ soap/ detergent/ toothpaste and some products that might seem absurd at a glance. It’s worth remembering that these people are my people…

When I heard about a crowd that had formed on the corner of Monte and Angeles streets, I went in a flash. Three police patrol cars were parked on the street, in front of the store (to provide a swift response to any incident that might occur). The crowd wasn’t normal. Eggs immediately came to mind: which calm our rumbling stomachs. But no, it wasn’t eggs. It was bleach.

This might not seem to make any sense to anyone abroad, but… Bleach is one of the most safe-guarded treasures in homes where there are old people, children, bedsheets and towels to wash. As well as being an essential in a city where garbage grows by the day and spills outside of dumpsters. Getting a hold of enough bleach in this case is an indicator of what the Cuban people are going through.

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