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Following Protests, Cuban Government Lifts Restrictions To Import Food, Medicines

Ismael Francisco
Government supporters shout slogans as anti-government protesters march in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, July 11, 2021. Hundreds of demonstrators went out to the streets in several cities in Cuba to protest against ongoing food shortages and high prices of foodstuffs.

The Cuban government will lift restrictions so travelers will be able to take unlimited food, medicines and hygiene products without paying customs duties, a measure taken after Cubans took to the street Sunday to ask for food, medicines, and “the end of the dictatorship.”

Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced the measures, which will start Monday, on the TV show Mesa Redonda — Round Tableon Wednesday evening. Despite widespread scarcities, the government had restricted the import of all goods to squeeze the “mula” business — mules, the name given to people who take goods to sell on the island, where all stores are state-owned.

Many Cuban Americans also used “mulas” to send money and other basic necessities to their families. Cubans abroad have been calling for the government to accept humanitarian aid to alleviate an economic crisis worsened by the pandemic.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.