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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.

Big League Guns

Minnesota Had Record Numbers of Concealed Carry Licenses Issued in 2020

Red or blue, Americans nationwide are getting strapped.

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Gun sales have boomed all across America. And it’s not just the Red states. Blue states like Minnesota have also witnessed an increase in the number of concealed carry permits issued. 

According to Valley News Live, over 96,000 permits were issued in 2020, which represented the highest number of permits issued since carry permits became legal in 2003. Furthermore, 2020’s numbers represented a twofold increase from 2019 in the number of permits issued. 

Tom Knighton of Bearing Arms noted that roughly “400,000 permits have been issued in total in a state of just over 5.6 million people.”

The Valley News Live piece actually conceded that the increase in permits issued was largely the result of a “ rise in violent crime in the Twin Cities and the civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd.”

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Minneapolis was the epicenter of social unrest after the death of George Floyd in late May 2020. With calls to defund the police and irresponsible political leadership that refused to decisively crack down on crime, Minnesotans began to take matters into their own hands.

Gun owners are ultimately the most effective first responders in times of crisis and overall breakdowns of social order. Minnesota’s gun laws are actually quite strict, which has earned it dismal rankings in Guns & Ammo magazine’s rankings for Best States for Gun Owners (39th place) and Best States for Concealed Carry (37th place). Regardless of the sub-optimal gun policies, Minnesotans still instinctively understand the importance of the right to carry.

2020 was a big year for gun sales and showed that the right to bear arms still has a massive constituency of people that can be targeted and activated for future occasions. Serious Republican campaigns should recognize this trend and make targeting gun owners a major priority throughout their get out the vote programs.

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