Government of Santiago de Cuba to Cap Prices on Transportation and Basic Goods

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Madison Pena

Government of Santiago de Cuba to Cap Prices on Transportation and Basic Goods
El precio topado afectará al transporte en Santiago de Cuba. Imagen de referencia. - Imagen de © CiberCuba

The government of Santiago de Cuba has decided to cap prices on transportation and certain essential goods as an urgent and desperate measure to curb the skyrocketing inflation in the eastern province.

Manuel Falcón Hernández, the governor of the city, announced on Facebook last Friday that during an Extraordinary and Expanded Provincial Council of the Popular Power Government, "it was agreed to establish capped prices for essential products and transportation services."

The official specified that the decision was based on "cost sheets and evaluations with economic actors," suggesting that the measure will affect self-employed workers, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and cooperatives. These entities are forced to acquire their products in dollars and rely on obtaining foreign currency through unofficial means, given the absence of an official exchange market.

Additionally, the governor of Santiago de Cuba threatened increased control over those economic actors who impose "abusive prices on agricultural and daily consumption products," claiming this would "boost the economy."

Ironically, Falcón simultaneously admitted to a high degree of corruption, highlighting it as one of the key issues discussed during the meeting with the province's leaders and communists.

Finally, the official suggested that the "participation of the population will be crucial to the effectiveness of these measures," implying that it will be up to individuals or mass organizations to report instances of inflation and corruption.

According to him, this strategy will represent the path to "prevention and decisive action against irregularities to ensure economic and social well-being in the province," without addressing the true causes of the economic crisis and rampant inflation in the country.

Measures to Address Youth Unemployment and School Dropouts

During the Extraordinary and Expanded Provincial Council of the Popular Power Government, the governor announced measures to tackle the rising youth unemployment and school dropout rates in the province. He threatened to go door-to-door to conduct a statistical survey, as reported by the newspaper Sierra Maestra.

For those unemployed, the availability of jobs in their area of residence or municipality will be evaluated. An individualized analysis will also be conducted for those of school age who have dropped out, with the aim of guiding their reintegration into the education system.

In March, Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel assured that, with his package of economic measures to "correct distortions and boost the economy," prices would remain high, but "abusive or speculative prices" would not be allowed.

During a meeting of the Ministry of Finance and Prices (MFP), the first secretary of the central committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) emphasized the need for more effective price inspections to combat abuse and speculation.

Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz called in April for exemplary measures to be applied to lower prices in Cuba. "What is each council doing in the battle against prices? We are lacking a firm hand in many places. We need to take exemplary measures in defense of our people," he stated during a meeting with officials from Isla de la Juventud.

Santiago de Cuba's New Price Control Measures: Key Questions Answered

With the recent announcement of price caps on transportation and essential goods in Santiago de Cuba, many residents and business owners have questions about how these measures will affect them. Here are some key questions and answers to help clarify the situation.

Why is Santiago de Cuba capping prices on transportation and basic goods?

The government is implementing these caps as an emergency measure to combat the severe inflation affecting the province. They aim to make essential goods and services more affordable for residents.

Who will be affected by these price caps?

The price caps will impact self-employed workers, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and cooperatives, as they are the primary providers of these goods and services.

How will the government enforce these price caps?

The government plans to increase monitoring and control over economic actors who impose abusive prices. They also encourage the population to report instances of price gouging and corruption.

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