Cuba’s commerce minister blames decision to ration food on Trump administration

Cuba will begin widespread rationing of staple foods and other products such as chicken, eggs, rice, beans, and soap as the country faces what The Associated Press calls a grave economic crisis, the government announced on Friday.

Commerce Minister Betsy Díaz Velázquez blamed the Trump Administration for hardening the United States’ trade embargo on the island. Some economists, meanwhile, argue that the crisis stems more from the fact that Venezuela has not provided Cuba with its usual amount of aid since becoming mired in its own dire economic and political situation.

The scenario is not novel in Cuba, AP reports. The country imports roughly two thirds of its food and brief, sporadic shortages have been common for years. Some Cubans, AP writes, are understanding of the government’s decision, while others do not believe it will resolve anything in the long term.

Díaz said that, despite the restrictions on available food, cooking oil would be in full supply. “We’re calling for calm,” she said. Read more at The Associated Press.

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