Hunger in Cuba: An official project in Havana feeds 4,000 people a day

He dining room of the Quisikuaba Community ProjectAn official religious institution that Miguel Diaz-Canel supports, currently delivering Eat 4,000 needy Cubans are fed daily in HavanaAnother symptom of the huge humanitarian crisis Cuba faces.

Reuters agency visited the place where it came to know The worsening economic crisis has led to an increase in poverty among Cubans, especially the elderly and retirees. There he talked to Alda Williams, a 60-year-old former psychologist who until recently made a living selling cell phone plans, but saw her fortunes ruined when a public sewage pipe in front of her home and workplace exploded in 2023. disabled.

“I thank this place that my family gets good food,” William told Reuters. The free meals offered by the project date back to the 1980sThe report indicates.

Quisicuaba, a project funded by religious groups on the island, donations from abroad and private gifts, and which is recognized as a legitimate interlocutor by the Office of Religious Affairs of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), in contrast to sects that are critical Hain Regime is one of the few non-government sites today that does this.

In contrast, when the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UMPACU), José Daniel Ferrer, did something similar at that organization’s headquarters in Santiago de Cuba, he faced all kinds of harassment and reprisals from the political police. The opposition leader has been imprisoned and tortured in degrading conditions since July 11, 2021, and initiatives to provide food aid to those in need have stopped working.

for its part, Quisicuaba serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for 4,000 people dailyOctavio Dominguez, logistics coordinator, told Reuters, who assured that the figure was increasing day by day. Their staff also offers delivery service for those who cannot reach the dining room.

“Every day we could get 30, 40, 50 new cases,” Dominguez said. “Whoever comes we feed him (…) We don’t ask how much they charge. They are not charged anything.”

This figure represents an increase from 700 people in 2020 and 2,200 people in 2021.As the AFP agency reported then.

Reuters assures in its report that many of the people who come to the doors of Quisciuaba now suffer from a series of problems related to the economy, including addiction, nutrition, health and other family-related problems, said its leader Enrique Alemán. , They said. Their rapidly growing project aims to provide a “more comprehensive response.”

“The increase in soup kitchens, as we say, comes as a result of the blockade (restriction) amid the pandemic”Aleman told AFP in 2021. “We are located in one of the 61 most vulnerable neighborhoods of Havana,” he said, referring to Los Sitios in Centro Habana, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital’s most populous municipality.

Religious leaders who were among those responding to Miguel Diaz-Canel’s call to hold meetings with civil society groups with positions favorable to the regime after the 2021 social outbreak to try to whitewash his image, then Got visibility again. , as well as official support.

In June 2023, Quisikuaba, together with the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), coordination axis of humanitarian aid For the municipality of Jiguani in GranmaOne of the areas in eastern Cuba that was devastated by the rain storm.

Enrique Alemán then assured that “this philosophy of life, helping others, is expressed with the political will of the government and the Granma party, which, together with the people, will receive this shipment and deliver it to those most in need. “

The inability of the government to meet the needs arises from the lack of will to articulate the efficient functioning of the economy Officials delegate many of their powers to loyal projects. In the last week of 2023, Díaz-Canel visited another Quisicuaba project, this time in San Antonio de los Baños: a home for homeless people called Campanto Agropecuario Quisicuaba, which Alemán Gutiérrez described as an “assisted living center. ” has been described as.

Located in a former high school and slated to be inaugurated in 2023, Alleman assured Reuters it currently serves 53 people, but aims to have up to 570 when operating at full capacity.

Resident Angela Figueroa, 66, became homeless when she heard about the Quisicuaba soup kitchen in Centro Habana and then eventually headed to the new housing center in San Antonio de los Baños.

“Now I’ve eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he said from very close to his bed. He thanked, “Despite the economy and shortages in the country, they treat us very well, they care about our food and medicines.”

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