Cuba’s New Special Period

João Pina

With the death of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul’s retirement, Cuba is now living a new “special period” somehow similar to what happened in the 1990’s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Cuba had to reinvent itself and start opening to state run capitalism.

Venezuela, Cuba’s strongest ally in recent years has been undergoing a major crisis, which directly impacts discounted oil shipments, and has been creating energy shortages.

While the government keeps struggling to keep the economy under state control, the United States policies towards Cuba re-implemented by U.S. president Donald Trump have been making the life of entrepreneurs much harder, and shortages can now be felt in basic goods all around the island.

This set of photographs shot in 2019, are part of a much larger project of documentation of Cuba the author has been doing since 2002.

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