Cuban Households to Receive Rice Cookers
Mar 11, 2005
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President Fidel Castro announced that 100,000 pressure cookers and rice cookers would be available each month at subsidized prices.

The cookers were among appliances banned to save energy a decade ago when Cuba was plunged into economic crisis and power outages due to the loss of Soviet aid and oil.

The cookers could be distributed now, the Cuban leader said, because Cuba was emerging from the crisis and had resolved its latest energy crunch, caused by a failure of the island's largest power plant last summer.

With average salaries of U.S. $12 a month, most Cubans cannot afford rice cookers that now sell for $60 on the black market.

"They will be received with open arms. When the gas goes, you can make beans, boil vegetables or heat up milk for the baby," said a Cuban housewife. She said electric rice cookers are vital in rural Cuba, where households cook on wood or coal fires when gas is not available. (Reuters)

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