Travel

How real is the food shortage in Cuba??

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  • Dec 3rd, 2022 2:51 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Oct 3, 2022
7 posts
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How real is the food shortage in Cuba??

We are family of 4 planning to go to CUBA in 2nd week of December.

Being a vegetarian / eggs our concern how true is the food shortage.
27 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
The hotels can buy imported food as they have hard currency. It's the locals who don't have such access who are suffering (small-scale private farms exist but they're selling to those who can pay).
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
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Jan 11, 2020
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primordialSingularit…
Damn didn't know about this, but this doesn't surprise me at all...Just a matter of time.

No travel advisories so far...? But this is a government of Canada website lol, I lost a lot of trust in their services of late.
https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/cuba
Deal Fanatic
Dec 20, 2018
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ADenariusSaved wrote: Damn didn't know about this, but this doesn't surprise me at all...Just a matter of time.

No travel advisories so far...? But this is a government of Canada website lol, I lost a lot of trust in their services of late.
https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/cuba
why would there be an advisory? not like a canadian will starve on cuba holiday..i mean not having a type of food item (eg beef or w/e or diet soda or vodka etc..) aren't really worthy of a travel advisory?
Deal Fanatic
Dec 20, 2018
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ForDealsAlways wrote: We are family of 4 planning to go to CUBA in 2nd week of December.

Being a vegetarian / eggs our concern how true is the food shortage.
you'll be fine..you aren't going to starve.. eggs, pastas, pizzas, bread, cheeses etc will be available.. but you have to be prepared if there's no veggie hotdogs or veggie burgers or no ketchup etc..
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Jan 11, 2020
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primordialSingularit…
StatsGuy wrote: why would there be an advisory? not like a canadian will starve on cuba holiday..i mean not having a type of food item (eg beef or w/e or diet soda or vodka etc..) aren't really worthy of a travel advisory?
Usually food shortages spark a lot of political/regime risk. It seems far from that so far based on the advisory. Egypt tanked shortly after I was there from that. It was already posted as moderate alert when I went...
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
23581 posts
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ADenariusSaved wrote: Usually food shortages spark a lot of political/regime risk.
It seems far from that so far based on the advisory. Egypt tanked shortly after I was there from that. It was already posted as moderate alert when I went...
Lol, you’re funny …

Guess you haven’t heard about ALL THE SHORTAGES … including groceries & food
That even first world countries have experienced since the Global Pandemic arrived in 2020

Lot more than just TP and Lysol Wipes have been cycling thru availability / supply issues

Here’s just a partial list of some of the things that have been talked about right here in Canada … on RFD in the last few years …

Yeast
Flour
Chicken
Turkeys
Some Breakfast Cereals
Pop (aluminum cans )
Cooking Oils

And …
Lettuce … the current big one

Not to mention …
Computer Chips
Appliances
Cars
Baby Formula
Kids Tylenol
Cough Medicines
Christmas Trees
Etc
Etc
Etc

Doesn’t mean the world is coming to an end as we know it in Canada
More than anything it just shows how integrated everything is now that we are a global economy

Will it get worse HERE before it gets better
(Here or abroad )
Ya probably
Covid ain’t over … certainly not in so many countries that are still struggling to get vaccinated
Not to mention the war in Ukraine which is one of the worlds largest suppliers of wheat

Agree with @StatsGuy … aint no one issuing advisories for other countries on food supply issues
Just like no one is issuing them here on us
People make do

Cuba is a country long plagued by trade issues
Not everything there is as it would be here at home
Food included

People need to inform themselves
Then make up their own minds on what they can and cannot tolerate / are comfy with

To me that’s just part of travel
Folks who expect things 100% to be as they are at home
IMO are best just staying home
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Jan 11, 2020
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primordialSingularit…
PointsHubby wrote: Lol, you’re funny …

Guess you haven’t heard about ALL THE SHORTAGES … including groceries & food
That even first world countries have experienced since the Global Pandemic arrived in 2020

Lot more than just TP and Lysol Wipes have been cycling thru availability / supply issues

Here’s just a partial list of some of the things that have been talked about right here in Canada … on RFD in the last few years …

Yeast
Flour
Chicken
Turkeys
Some Breakfast Cereals
Pop (aluminum cans )
Cooking Oils

And …
Lettuce … the current big one

Not to mention …
Computer Chips
Appliances
Cars
Baby Formula
Kids Tylenol
Cough Medicines
Christmas Trees
Etc
Etc
Etc

Doesn’t mean the world is coming to an end as we know it in Canada
More than anything it just shows how integrated everything is now that we are a global economy

Will it get worse HERE before it gets better
(Here or abroad )
Ya probably
Covid ain’t over … certainly not in so many countries that are still struggling to get vaccinated
Not to mention the war in Ukraine which is one of the worlds largest suppliers of wheat

Agree with @StatsGuy … aint no one issuing advisories for other countries on food supply issues
Just like no one is issuing them here on us
People make do

Cuba is a country long plagued by trade issues
Not everything there is as it would be here at home
Food included

People need to inform themselves
Then make up their own minds on what they can and cannot tolerate / are comfy with

To me that’s just part of travel
Folks who expect things 100% to be as they are at home
IMO are best just staying home
We're ok in Canada, but Cuba is a country that should have collapsed long ago.
Arab Spring had a lot to do with food inflation, but again, they were military dictatorships so the people were pretty pissed as it was. Not sure if Cuba is the same, I'd have been pissed.
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Jun 15, 2015
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thriftshopper wrote: The hotels can buy imported food as they have hard currency. It's the locals who don't have such access who are suffering (small-scale private farms exist but they're selling to those who can pay).
Not really.

Regardless of the hotel chain (ie. Royalton, Iberostar, Melia/Paradisus which are all international chains) the resorts are 55%* managed by the Cuban gov. The “brand” has only partial control regardless and basically the hotel is just using the brand name (also why several brands like Sandals, Riu and Bahia have pulled out of Cuba all together).

This means they (Cuban gov) control everything from day to hotel operations/staffing to construction/maintenance. Issues with importing goods and supplies in order to run the hotels is still bound to Cuban trade issues (hotel brands have their hands tied). The pandemic and supply chain issues globally, and the fact they had 0 tourists/0 revenue and their reliance on Russia has magnified the issue to a whole new level. The gov doesn’t have the $ to import nor upkeep these hotels when the entire country is failing. They can also get away with it to an extent as well (given their target market is very limited to Canadians and Russians).

I know that Sunwing (who owns Blue Diamond Resorts) operates the highest frequency of flights to Cuba worldwide. I know they were working on getting approval on a larger more comprehensive import license. Not sure what’s happening with that but even relying on Canadian imports for hotel supplies (given inflation) is not exactly cost effective these days either. The Cuban gov doesn’t want to pay and I doubt Sunwing/Blue Diamond is going to throw money at the wind given they have little control of said imports when they arrive to Cuba and how they are distributed. I know Sunwing/Blue Diamond is trying to make their resorts “above” average in comparison to other resorts there, but there’s way too many logistics involved for it to make financial sense atm.

Edit: From my knowledge the *55% Cuban ownership is the general agreement. I have heard some hotel chains have slightly higher ownership (49% in some cases VS 45%). Not sure how accurate but either way the Cuban always has 51%+ ownership.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2017
2656 posts
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ADenariusSaved wrote: Usually food shortages spark a lot of political/regime risk. It seems far from that so far based on the advisory. Egypt tanked shortly after I was there from that. It was already posted as moderate alert when I went...
Travel advisory:

Shortage of certain cold and flu medications in Canada

Face With Rolling Eyes
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2017
2656 posts
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https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/cuba
Shortages and service disruptions

Shortages of ‎goods, including fuel, food items and medications, are common across the country.  They have led to reduced transportation services and often long line-ups at grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies.

Service disruptions to power distribution occur regularly. Tour companies and resorts often have generators to maintain service. However, independent travellers may have difficulty obtaining services during an outage.
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Jan 11, 2020
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primordialSingularit…
Bb0231 wrote: Shortages and service disruptions

Shortages of ‎goods, including fuel, food items and medications, are common across the country. They have led to reduced transportation services and often long line-ups at grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies.

Service disruptions to power distribution occur regularly. Tour companies and resorts often have generators to maintain service. However, independent travellers may have difficulty obtaining services during an outage.
Cuba or Canada? Hard to tell the difference nowadays.

Wonder if Cuba has fentanyl-fueled shanty towns...At least being homeless down there isn't fatal from weather conditions.
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2018
125 posts
108 upvotes
A friend of mine went solo to Cayo Coco for 4 nights (4 star all inclusive resort) almost a month ago.

They ran out of bread for 2 days. They only had a pasta with plain red sauce.
😎
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
23581 posts
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Eastern Ontario
ADenariusSaved wrote: Cuba or Canada? Hard to tell the difference nowadays.

Wonder if Cuba has fentanyl-fueled shanty towns... At least being homeless down there isn't fatal from weather conditions.
Lol, clearly you know nothing about weather either

Heat Stroke, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Flooding, Storm Surge

A lot more people die annually from those things in North America
Than do from being froze to death here the True North
Or the victim of an Avalanche etc

Lol, and we haven’t even touched upon real threats from disease due to hot weather insects like Mosquitos
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primordialSingularit…
PointsHubby wrote: Lol, clearly you know nothing about weather either

Heat Stroke, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Flooding, Storm Surge

A lot more people die annually from those things in North America
Than do from being froze to death here the True North
Or the victim of an Avalanche etc

Lol, and we haven’t even touched upon real threats from disease due to hot weather insects like Mosquitos
Mosquitoes, we got this chief! https://www.newscientist.com/article/23 ... -per-cent/
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Jan 11, 2020
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primordialSingularit…
PointsHubby wrote: Lol, clearly you know nothing about weather either

Heat Stroke, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Flooding, Storm Surge

A lot more people die annually from those things in North America
Than do from being froze to death here the True North
Or the victim of an Avalanche etc

Lol, and we haven’t even touched upon real threats from disease due to hot weather insects like Mosquitos
About the deaths, Canadian winters are not survivable outdoors for long periods of time. I think we have enough capital to set up shelters & supports that keeps our homeless alive (libraries, gov edifices, transit networks, other building types, heat vents) & shelters opening at night. Without those supports I don't know what the survivability in winter would be. We're also helped by a lot of tools like coats and multi-layered clothing/tents/propane tanks/firewood...
I think homelessness is just going to increase over time with housing prices going up so rapidly. We definitely aren't a danger to travel to, just more dangerous to be homeless (if supports not in place). Death down south is probabilistic, but without supports (and equipment), death is a certainty in many parts of this country if homeless. Probably explains why all these tent communities are huge in mild places like Vancouver (ditto for San Fran USA).

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Nov 2, 2005
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ADenariusSaved wrote: Cuba or Canada? Hard to tell the difference nowadays.....
Two dictorial style leaderships allegedly sharing the same lineage, there's bound to be some similar mistakes being made.

Canadian travelers need to get real about where their $ are actually going when they vacation in Cuba. The government has their finger in every pie there and are creaming off a sizable cut to prop up the regime. No amount of, "we'll we stayed at a Spanish owned resort", "we took gifts for the locals", or "we took plenty of USD to tip the staff" excuses directly supporting the behaviour of their corrupt government.
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Nov 24, 2013
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Didn't perceive a food shortage in Cayo Santa Maria a couple of weeks ago. The only buffet was breakfast. Found the ingredients to be of generally good quality, but the preparation to be somewhat lacking. The Spanish beer and wines are good. All the other drinks are mainly rum based and too sugary for my taste.
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Nov 8, 2017
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ADenariusSaved wrote: About the deaths, Canadian winters are not survivable outdoors for long periods of time. I think we have enough capital to set up shelters & supports that keeps our homeless alive (libraries, gov edifices, transit networks, other building types, heat vents) & shelters opening at night.
1. The problem is, AFAIK, we don't have systematic collection of data about deaths due to coldness because of inadequate shelters.

2. There are consequences other than immediate death, like severe frost bites which can lead to more (and repeated) ER visists and shifts the burden from one sector to another!

3. Really??? Which city/Province you're in that have libraries/ transit systems running 24/7 to provide shelters for those in need?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6379714
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Jan 11, 2020
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primordialSingularit…
dirtmover wrote: Two dictorial style leaderships allegedly sharing the same lineage, there's bound to be some similar mistakes being made.

Canadian travelers need to get real about where their $ are actually going when they vacation in Cuba. The government has their finger in every pie there and are creaming off a sizable cut to prop up the regime. No amount of, "we'll we stayed at a Spanish owned resort", "we took gifts for the locals", or "we took plenty of USD to tip the staff" excuses directly supporting the behaviour of their corrupt government.
I wonder if you put either in charge of the Sahara for 5 years, that they'd end up with a shortage of sand...

Kinda funny until you check your gas bill this winter!

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