Home CaribbeanCuba Agua Ciego Montero in Santa Clara: only in MLC stores

Agua Ciego Montero in Santa Clara: only in MLC stores

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Agua, MLC, Santa Clara

VILLA CLARA, Cuba. — For about a week the gastronomic establishments in the national currency of the city of Santa Clara have not had water for sale nor are there deposits in their warehouses. This was confirmed to CubaNet a clerk from one of these sites, who claims that there is a deficit in the entry of the product to the restaurant where he works.

However, gallons of water have now appeared in the Novedades del boulevard store, an establishment that two years ago became part of the network of businesses in Freely Convertible Currency (MLC).

The new provision has caused a stir on social networks, the digital agora for Cubans to publicly complain when similar and sensitive events occur that directly affect the pocket of the worker who does not receive family remittances.

A mother who identifies herself as Lorena Garcia posted to the Facebook group Santa Clara baby scramble his outrage over the sale of gallons of water at MLC stores.

“I must express what I feel,” he posted. “These are certified waters that are treated through the deionization process, that is, they are treated to remove calcium and magnesium ions, etc., so that they have higher quality. And it turns out that now its sale goes to the currency that we do not charge.”

The woman points out that this transfer to MLC happens just at a critical moment, when the city finds itself with the aqueduct network affected by repairs.

“It is a water issue, it is a food issue, it is a fortified milk issue for infants under one year of age. These are very difficult issues, but we must not exaggerate”.

The user’s publication was followed by hundreds of responses from mothers who argued that they should buy Ciego Montero water for their young children given the poor quality of the water that usually reaches homes through the pipes. Currently, five-liter drums are sold at a price of 1.50 MLC, a figure that, according to informal market rates, exceeds 200 pesos in national currency.

Sale of Ciego Montero water in a store in MLC (Photo by the author)

Several people from Santa Clara in search of water also reported that they had to locate it in kiosks far from the downtown area and that the clerks explained to them that “it was the last one left.” Other users posted images of queues at the TRD sales stand in front of the children’s hospital, where they were still available in Cuban pesos.

“The truth is that they squeezed, the only thing they had left in the stores for national currency”, commented Olga Bello, from Santa Clara.

“I am a health worker and my 4,000 pesos are not enough to buy those MLCs,” published Naylet Martin. “Because of these things, workers like me are working reluctantly, because with my salary I can’t even buy jams for my daughters. Their childhood is gone and not a toy”.

(Screenshots/Courtesy of the author)

Ciego Montero mineral water was also purchased by people with certain kidney diseases and pathologies, as well as by relatives of patients admitted to hospitals.

“It is a delicate issue that affects us patients who need it and cannot buy it,” says Odalis Quintero, from Santa Clara. “It is not a luxury or a taste, it is a tremendous necessity.”

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