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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Island Paradise

When someone tells you how wonderful life is in Fidel Castro's Cuba, you can share this little vignette:

FROM CUBA

April 20, 2004

Women must register to be able to buy sanitary pads

SANTA CLARA, April 18 (www.cubanet.org) - Women in Villa Clara province must have registered by April 16 to be allowed to buy their allotment of sanitary pads seven times a year, according to an announcement by CMHW, provincial radio net.

In order to register for this census, women between the ages of 10 and 55 had to present an ID card and their ration book; the registration procedure lasted for three days and involved long lines of women waiting to register and a number of health care workers pulled from other duties to work full time on the census.

The broadcast public service announcement explained that a higher-quality sanitary pad than the ones available previously will be distributed seven times a year and that the price will go up from 80 cents to 1.20 pesos.

Several women commented that seven times a year will be a lot better than the present two or three times a year these products are now available.

At one time, domestically-made sanitary pads could be bought freely at pharmacies, but in the beginning of the 90s, with the end of Soviet subsidies, the pads became subject to rationing, and women had to resort to make-do methods, such as using pieces of diapers, towels, or mosquito netting and washing them, or obtaining the proper product at dollar stores, if they had dollars.

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