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How Do Cubans Get to the End of the Month?
November 19, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
What do Cuban men and women do to make ends meet in a country where their salary is insufficient to satisfy their needs? Drawing on eighteen interviews in Havana, Matanzas, and Sagua la Grande, this presentation investigates the strategies used by ordinary Cubans to gain their livelihoods and survive until the end of the month. The fieldwork was conducted by three independent journalists during the early months of 2020, before Miguel Díaz-Canel’s government implemented public health measures related to COVID-19. Most Cubans have expanded their participation in the black and gray markets, and have increasingly relied on family remittances, among other survival strategies. In the end, an answer to the question based on the concept of “daily resistance” is presented, highlighting the routes used to meet basic needs in a context of extreme restrictions and difficulties. These informal mechanisms of Cuban everyday life constitute a much larger economy than the official economy based on the socialist model on the Island.