Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

October 14, 1998, Cuba Free Press.

SAN LUIS FAMILIES HAVE DIFFICULTY FINDING ANYTHING FOR FUEL By Efrén Martínez Pulgarón, Cuba Free Press.

SAN LUIS Famillies in the city of San Luis, with about 33,000 inhabitants, are finding it difficult to find anything to burn so as to cook their food.

Those families that cook over kerosene have not received any since April, when they were given 40 percent of that which they were supposed to receive. There was none provided in January, February or March. According to official sources, about 98 percent of the population in this zone cooks with kerosene.

As for those who use alcohol for preheating certain stoves, they have received only 14 bottles so far this year; the quota per family of five is supposed to be 40 per year.

If the usual fuel is liquid gas, the five-member family is supposed to receive a 100-pound bottle twice a year, which is much less than the ordinary need.

As for those families with an electric cooker, they must be careful to program their use of electricity so as to avoid the five electric shutdowns programmed per week.

Some families are able to find straw or sawdust to use in imaginative ways in certain stoves so as to cook their food.

Commenting on the situation, one worker who declined to give his name for fear of reprisal told this correspondent, "We have to solve the cooking problem with either petroleum, coal or wood."

"The petroleum, stolen from the state latifundia, is sold illegally at 50 pesos per five-gallon can. A sack of coal of four cans (latas) costs 40 pesos. But many families dont have enough money to pay that much and they hunt for wood, which also is difficult to find."

In a survey of the outskirts of the city, this correspondent checked out the situation and found housewives reporting a difficult problem in trying to cook the small amount of food that they receive with their ration cards.

The situation is even worse in the rural areas. On the country roads one can see women carrying loads of wood they have found.

San Luis is found on the southern coast of Pinar del Rio province.

Efrén Martínez Pulgarón, Cuba Free Press>


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