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Online shopping a steep learning curve for Cuba

When Jorge Noris first tried online shopping, Cuban-style, the products he bought never turned up.

Like most people, the father of two living on the outskirts of Havana was seduced by the convenience of shopping over the internet.

However, Cuba’s catch-up with the world of e-commerce, encouraged by its communist rulers during the coronavirus lockdown, has left many users angry.

“After a month, the store called me to ask if the order had arrived,” said Noris, a 34-year-old technician. He was similarly stunned when he discovered he had to travel into the shop to be reimbursed.

Worldwide, the online food trade has been given a massive shot in the arm by the pandemic. With millions confined to their homes, online consumer activity soared by 300 percent in Italy and Spain, and 100 percent in France, according to pollsters Nielsen.

But the experience is still a novel one in Cuba where

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