Betsy Díaz Velázquez, head of the Ministry of Internal Trade (Mincin), affirmed that the news that medical diets are going to be eliminated is false, that is, the delivery of the food that compose it, in addition to clarifying that problems with the shipment from the ports of origin of products such as chicken and rice have prevented their arrival in the country in the expected time.
Consulted by the Cuban News Agency, the Minister explained that since September we have faced a situation of deficit in imports of powdered milk, which affected the provinces of Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Havana and Pinar del Río, dependent of these arrivals from abroad, not so in the rest because with the production of fluid milk they have been able to cover their destinations. He pointed out that, therefore, it is not a complete affectation throughout the country and due to this difficulty, only 50 percent of the medical diets containing this food could be guaranteed in September, although with the collection of what has been achieved by Agriculture, it has been possible to guarantee treaty in the aforementioned territories to ensure in October the milk that is given to children from zero to six years old, to those with chronic childhood diseases and pregnant women with a medical prescription. He specified that neither for the remainder of October nor in November is it expected to have imported powdered milk, because it is being brought from far away places like New Zealand, since the North American blockade prevents us from buying it in the American market. As part of the above, it has not been possible to match three key elements: the availability of financing, ships and suppliers, but even when these issues are resolved, there is the time factor since the journey from that nation takes more than 45 days, and for next month it will be very difficult to have the aforementioned food in the country, said the head of MINCIN. He stressed that even in the midst of such adversities and significant non-compliance in the delivery of fluid milk by Agriculture, a situation that its producers face with a group of measures, medical diets will not be abolished, since they take as a nutritional supplement food to the be considered the first medicine. This is false news that has been circulating, for which we clarify that as long as Public Health practitioners continue to indicate them to consumers who need it, it will be up to the Ministry of Internal Commerce to guarantee the food that is demanded, said Díaz Velázquez. Although we are facing a temporary situation to which solutions are being sought, we are clear that the best answer to the difficulties with the availability of a resource as mandatory for the population as milk is to produce it in the country, to substitute its importation, and to that end. we have been summoned by the leadership of the Revolution. Regarding the distribution of chicken, he explained that although it is brought from nearby markets such as the United States, with limitations in commercial and financial transactions, between what is contracted, paid and shipped, the cycle for its arrival in the country takes about 10 days, but In recent months, it was extended to 50 days due to the damage caused by the recent hurricane as it passed through New Orleans, contractions in ports and a shortage of workforce. He stated that this led to the restocking cycle being lengthened and therefore the chicken planned to be delivered to the population in August was passed to September, and that of this month in October, although the measures adopted must allow that in the first 15 days November began to shorten the cycle, to stabilize the distribution, including that of medical diets as a part was also affected. In relation to the announcement made to distribute three additional pounds of rice per consumer for six months in the warehouses, as a result of sales in freely convertible currency, Díaz Velázquez said that in October it had not been possible to fulfill that commitment, since this product was mainly It comes from Vietnam, where due to the impact of COVID-19, its shipment could not be secured in time. The ships are in transit, but this takes 40 to 50 days, so at the end of November they will arrive in the country, and then we will immediately proceed to deliver that rice to the population, which has nothing to do with the rice. it is included in the modules of food donated by friendly nations, nor with the seven pounds that are sold as part of the regulated family basket; None substitutes for another and all do complement each other, he clarified. In such a way that it may be the case that in a territory the three deliveries of the cereal itself coincide at the same time, as we will continue to receive donations from friendly countries, for which a distribution strategy was designed, but we also know that it has been delayed a bit. more than expected to reach Las Tunas, Granma, Villa Clara and Sancti Spíritus, said the Minister of Internal Trade. Finally, he reported that a second round was started in Havana and Santiago de Cuba, and in late October and early November we started again in the first provinces to receive the module, he said.