Cuba's government has announced that it is starting rationing of food and other basic products. Cuba's Commerce Minister, Betsy Diaz Velazquez, said beans, chicken, eggs, rice, soap and other goods would be rationed. She said Cuba is facing serious economic crisis. There are many shortages of food and other things in Cuba. Ms Velazquez said this was because USA has changed how it is trading with Cuba. Velazquez said U.S. trade embargo means it is very difficult for Cuba to buy lot of food. However, many economists say there is bigger reason for shortages - cut in fuel aid from Venezuela. The crisis in Venezuela has led to two-thirds cut in shipments of cheap fuel to Cuba.
Cuba imports about two-thirds of its food from other countries. lot of this used to come from USA. Cuba spent about $2 billion year on importing food. US embargo and the crisis in Venezuela means it is difficult for Cuba to import food. shelves of many stores and supermarkets are empty. Many people have to stand in long lines when shops get food delivery. government has started rationing to stop people hoarding food. If people buy too much of one thing and then hoard it, there is less food for others. One store in capital city Havana limited people to just four packets of powdered milk, four packs of sausages and five packets of peas per person. One shopper said life was "tough"