Officials Discover More than 12,000 Cubans Receiving Basic Family Basket Despite Residing Abroad
Officials from the Sancti Spíritus Oficoda have detected a shocking revelation that more than 12,000 Cubans are still receiving the basic family basket, despite residing outside of the country. According to reports from the local newspaper, Escambray, Daniel Peralta, director of Oficoda in the region, identified over 12,400 residents of Spiritus who were living abroad but were still receiving the regulated family basket. It is estimated that around 1,000 individuals still need to be removed from the records.
In an effort to rectify this issue, Peralta stated that a “purging process” has been implemented to regulate the distribution of the family basket. Nonetheless, challenges still remain as there are numerous individuals who continue to receive benefits that they are no longer entitled to.
These irregularities compound the already existing problems of theft and other violations, leaving many Cuban families without essential goods. Among the issues highlighted by managers, it was revealed that the censuses do not accurately reflect the number of consumers, resulting in a shortage of merchandise in warehouses.
Álvaro Rodríguez Lahera, director of the El País Base Business Unit (UEB), which oversees the city’s Central-South wineries, revealed that this problem is not confined to a single unit. He stated, “It is a group of effects due to a bad job of the Oficoda Sur that not only happens in that unit but in almost all the units in that area and in Colón where the censuses are not in line with the number of consumers, although the most notorious case is that of the 26 de Julio neighborhood winery.”
During the investigation, authorities uncovered numerous issues such as repeated notebooks, families possessing two or three notebooks, counterfeit records, duplication of records, inclusion of deceased individuals, and people who have been living abroad for over a decade still appearing in the notebooks.
To illustrate the impact of these irregularities, the report highlighted the case of the “26 de Julio” establishment, where 289 consumers were affected. In the month of July alone, they were unable to receive 875 pounds of rice, while 119 individuals were unable to purchase sugar, eggs, beans, and oil.
However, the problems faced by families relying on the regulated quota extend beyond administrative issues. Some individuals reported mistreatment from winemakers who allegedly steal from them during the weighing process. This, in turn, further jeopardizes their ability to obtain their monthly quota.
In response to these issues, the Cuban government is developing a virtual supply notebook to enhance surveillance in the acquisition of family basket products and controlled regulated items. The authorities hope that this will help alleviate the recurring problems and ensure fair distribution.
It remains to be seen how successful the implementation of the notebook digitization system and the virtual supply notebook will be in resolving these issues and protecting the rights of Cuban families.