The U.S. Bears No Blame as Cuba Starves on Its Policies

Today, less than 25% of Cuba’s arable land is in cultivation.

The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2019

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Regarding “Cuba to Ration Sales of Basic Food Items” (World News, May 13), Cuba’s Commerce Minister Betsy Diaz asserts that the U.S. embargo forces the island to buy food from distant markets, which raises prices. The “distant markets” for about 75% of Cuba’s food imports are actually in the U.S. The embargo, such as it is, requires such sales to be on a cash basis. Credit sales are denied so as to prevent Cuba from stiffing U.S. suppliers, as it has done with all its other trading partners.

What is causing food shortages in Cuba is a combination of a sharp reduction in Venezuelan financial support and decades of mismanagement of the economy by the Cuban regime. Today, less than 25% of Cuba’s arable land is in cultivation thanks to the regime’s disastrous policies.

Everett E. Briggs

Center for a Free Cuba

Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Appeared in the May 21, 2019, print edition.