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Cuba limiting purchases at food markets

October 11, 2008|From the Associated Press

HAVANA — Cuba is limiting the quantity of basic fruits and vegetables people can buy at farmers markets, irritating some customers but ensuring there is enough to go around.

Cubans who initially worried about getting enough to eat now seem confident they won't go hungry, despite the destruction of 30% of the island's crops last month by hurricanes Gustav and Ike. However, there are long lines and food is not plentiful.

The government is delivering all items distributed each month through the universal ration that provides Cubans with up to two weeks' worth of food, including eggs, beans, rice and potatoes. Extra food has been added in some hard-hit provinces.

But the food available at farmers markets has dwindled, prompting the government to limit purchases and cap prices.

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