Hey, cigarette-addled New Yorkers, want to hear a cruel joke? In Cuba, the current regime will pay you to smoke if you’re old.
Or at least they used to. In a move out of Auntie Bloomberg’s playbook, Raul Castro has decided to end the program that allows Cubans over 55 four packs of smokes a month at a government-subsidized price, the BBC reports. A government statement printed in a state-run newspaper justified the repeal by citing the island’s declining economy in the face of a worldwide downturn and the longstanding US trade embargo.
The BBC story reports that citizens who took the cheap packs for granted will have a hard time adjusting to the major cost increase.
“I’m insulted because it’s another thing they are taking away from us,” said Angela Jimenez, a 64-year-old who receives a monthly pension of about $10 (£6.50).
She said she will now have to quit smoking because she won’t be able to afford the normal price of about $0.33 a pack.
Hold on a second. An entire pack of cigarettes for 33 cents? That’s beats the price at Indian reservations! Viva la Revolucion.