Cuba makes a concession to protesters by allowing duty-free food imports.
Travelers arriving in Cuba can now bring in food, medicine, and other necessities without paying customs, according to the government, which made the announcement on Wednesday in response to violent and unprecedented street protests.
There will be no restrictions on these commodities coming in, according to Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, and the shift will last through the end of the year.
Cubans flocked to the streets in droves on Sunday, venting their frustrations over economic hardships such as food, electricity, and other necessities.
One of the demonstrators’ requests was that visitors to Cuba be allowed to carry food, medicine, and personal hygiene goods into the country without having to pay customs taxes.
Since anti-government protests erupted in the communist-ruled island over the worst economic crisis in decades, one person has died and more than 100 have been jailed, including independent journalists and opposition activists.
Travelers arriving in Cuba are allowed to bring up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of medicine with them tax-free. They can also bring in a limited amount of food and personal hygiene items, but they will have to pay customs fees.
The constraints, as well as the responsibilities, will be lifted on Monday, according to Marrero.
“This is a temporary step that we are implementing until December 31. We’ll review everything after that,” he said.
Cuba has blamed the economic slowdown on a half-century of US economic pressure, although the downturn also coincides with rigorous anti-Covid-19 policies and an increase in virus outbreaks.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that the US had incited popular unrest in Cuba through a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #SOSCuba.