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Cuba Pulls a Venezuela: Starts Rationing Basic Goods

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The Cuban government is now rationing food and basic goods.

CBC reports that the country is undertaking a widespread rationing of chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap, and other basics goods in light of the economic crisis.

Cuban Minister of Commerce Betsy Diaz Velazquez told the state-run Cuban News Agency that certain rationing schemes will be used to deal with shortages of staple foods.

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Diaz Velazquez blamed the stiffening of the U.S. trade embargo by the Trump administration for this newly developing crisis.

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Other economists pin the blame on lower levels of aid from Venezuela, where the implosion of its state-owned oil company has led to a two-thirds reduction in shipments of subsidized fuel that Cuba uses for power and to earn hard currency on the market.

Shortages have been a frequent occurrence in Cuba’s centrally-planned economy over the years. Long lines have emerged due to the shortage of basic products. The Cuban government blames these long lines on “hoarders.”

A tobacco-factory worker, Lazara Garcia, “The country’s going through a tough moment. This is the right response. Without this, there’ll be hoarders. I just got out of work and I was able to buy hot dogs.”

However, Manuel Ordoñez, a small business owner, had a different take on these rationing measures.

“What the country needs to do is produce. Sufficient merchandise is what will lead to shorter lines,” he said.

Cuba is the longest-lasting socialist experiment in the Western hemisphere. Along with present-day Venezuela, the country illustrates the failures of centrally-planned economies.

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U.S. Law Enforcement Bust 27 People Connected to Mexican Sinaloa Cartel

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Over two dozen people were arrested on drug charges in connection to a Mexican cartel smuggling cocaine into the U.S. Following a two-year investigation, 27 people were arrested through Operation Tripwire, an investigation effort U.S. officials have been working on featuring members of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The trafficking network went from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where cocaine originating from Mexico was smuggled stateside. The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady declared “this is a large organization that was trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the country and has direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.”

U.S. authorities recounted that the investigations started after an agent in Pittsburgh was able to identify an address that received large quantities of suspicious-looking packages coming from California. Since then, agents started to do investigation on other members of the network across the U.S.

Across the span of seven months, authorities were able to intercept U.S. calls made by some of the alleged traffickers with Sinaloa carte leaders in Mexico. On September 9, 2020, 27 were arrested in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania.

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According to American authorities, $1.3 million in cash and over 140 kilograms of cocaine were seized. The aforementioned people arrested are now facing a prison sentence of between 10 years and life in prison.

The border situation is no joke. Prior administrations have largely neglected the issue and have allowed for unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and drug trafficking to cross the U.S. border.

In a prior instance, BLP reported on how Mexico is a failed state that cannot maintain public order and is largely being pushed around by cartels. Due to its proximity to the U.S., Mexico’s problems will likely spillover stateside.

This is why border security is crucial. Thankfully, the U.S. has a president in Donald Trump that gets the memo. He’ll still need help from Congress, however,

That’s why it’s crucial that America First Republicans have strong showings at all branches of government in 2020.

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