Cuba makes concession to protesters, lets travelers bring in food duty-free
Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said there would be no limit placed on these goods coming in and the change will be in effect until the end of the year.
Cubans took to the streets in droves on July 11 in an explosion of anger over economic hardship marked by shortages of food, electricity and other essentials.
One of the protesters’ demands was for people arriving in Cuba to be able to bring in food, medicine and personal hygiene items from abroad without paying customs duties.
One person has died and more than 100 were arrested, including independent journalists and opposition activists, since the anti-government protests broke out in the communist-ruled island over the worst economic crisis in decades.
Under Cuban law, travelers arriving here can bring up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of medicine tax-free. They can also bring in limited amounts of food and personal hygiene gear but must pay customs duties.
Starting Monday the limits are lifted and so are the duties, Marrero said on TV.
"This is a measure we are adopting until December 31. After that, we will assess things," he said.
Cuba has blamed a half-century of U.S. economic pressure for the economic crisis, but the downturn also comes amid strict measures against COVID-19 and a rise in virus cases.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Tuesday said the United States had incited social unrest through a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #SOSCuba.