The Special Period in Time of Peace in Cuba was an extended period of economic crisis that began in 1991 primarily due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and, by extension, the Comecon. The economic depression of the Special Period was at its most severe in the early to mid-1990s.
It was defined primarily by extreme reductions of rationed foods at state-subsidized prices, the severe shortages of hydrocarbon energy resources in the form of gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum derivatives that occurred upon the implosion of economic agreements between the petroleum-rich Soviet Union and Cuba, and the shrinking of an economy overdependent on Soviet imports.
The period radically transformed Cuban society and the economy, as it necessitated the introduction of organic agriculture, decreased use of automobiles, and overhauled industry, health, and diet countrywide. People were forced to live without many goods and services that had been available since the beginning of the 20th century.
These fascinating photos were taken by Michael G Spafford that show street scenes of Cuba, mostly Havana in 1994.