Cuba allows entry of food and medicine brought by travelers

Cuban Americans express support for protests in Cuba, in front of Versailles Restaurant in Miami, Florida, USA, July 14, 2021| Photo: CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH/Agência EFE/Gazeta do Povo

Travelers arriving in Cuba will be able to take unlimited food, hygiene and medicine products from next week, the regime’s prime minister, Manuel Marrero, said on Wednesday (14), recognizing the extreme shortage of medicines in pharmacies and island hospitals.

The exceptional measure, which only came after massive protests against the dictatorship, will take effect next Monday and will remain in effect until at least December 31st. But its effect is expected to be limited, at least in the short term, as, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are few international flights to Cuba.

Current Cuban legislation on the entry of these products with travelers consists of a complex system of points and weight limits that set tariffs on excess items. In the case of medication, it is allowed to bring up to 10 kilos into the country. These restrictions will be removed at points of entry into Cuba, except at Cayo Coco and Varadero airports.

After the announcement, Yoani Sanchez, an independent Cuban journalist, said: “No, we don’t want crumbs. We want freedom. No blood has been spilled on the streets of Cuba to import some extra suitcases.”

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