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Photo of an ambulance entering a Naples hospital

At the entrance of a Naples hospital

Mariateresa Fichele

Ciro was waiting for me at the hospital entrance. He had been told the psychiatrist was coming.

"Dottoré, please let me come up with you, I need to see him and tell him I love him."

Two days earlier, he had found his father lying in a pool of blood. He did not understand why his father had done it, he just couldn’t wrap his head around it.

Because his father, Antonio, was a decent person. A hard worker.

Then the pandemic hit. His job as a street seller did not earn him enough to feed four children. So he had to turn to loan sharks.


But the payment deadline came. And it was a definitive one.

Antonio had woken up in the middle of the night, desperate, and decided to get out of the way to spare his children a whole lot of trouble.

But then his son Ciro found him in time, and saved his life.

When we went upstairs, father and son hugged each other without a word, and remained silent for quite a while.

“Ciro, the problem now is that I'll have to look you in the eye and atone for what I have done. And from then on, there will always be a wall between us."

"Papà, walls only serve one purpose in a house where there is love: to hang pictures on them."

Learn more about Worldcrunch's exclusive Dottoré! series here.

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Economy

The Many Paradoxes Of Cuba's Eternal Milk Shortages

Milk shortages are not new in Cuba, where the state pays producers less for their milk of what they can gain by selling it on the black market.

A young girl drinks milk inside her home in Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sadiel Mederos Bermudez

HAVANA — "There is no milk" ceased to be a repeated phrase on the island, because everyone knows it and, probably, by now they have resigned themselves.

Children under seven and the elderly with medical diets don’t receive it with the necessary frequency, even if they are the only sectors of the population with the right to acquire it through a government subsidy.

Because there simply is no milk in Cuba.

The rest of Cubans must buy it in stores in freely convertible currency (MLC). However, powdered or fluid milk hasn't been available in stores in MLC for months. Last time, at the beginning of the year, the price of a bag of 1 to 1.2 kilograms was between 6 and 8 MLC ($6-8).

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