SANTIAGO DE CUBA, March 27 (Reuters) – A crowd swarms the steps of a small state-run market on the outskirts of Santiago, Cuba’s second-largest city, sweating and shouting, jostling for a chance at a once-monthly ration of chicken.
A pound bag of thighs is going for a bargain 20 pesos – about a nickel at the black-market exchange rate – but furor devolves to chaos as word spreads there may not be enough for everyone.
And that’s when the lights go out.
“This is life here,” said Mauri Macias, a 39-year-old chef with two children who spoke with Reuters as he waited his turn to buy a handful of the government-subsidized poultry. “You live without being able to make plans.”

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