Worsening of Cuba’s Economic and Humanitarian Programs 

Cuba has been experiencing frequent electrical blackouts that have been intensifying after the G77+China summit held on the island (in mid-September). These outages last six to seven hours and can occur several times during the day.[1]

At night, people cannot stay in their homes because of the heat and go outside to sit on stools on sidewalks and talk with neighbors. Refrigerators break and cannot be repaired for lack of parts. A self-employed operator of a daycare center said, “We are without food, without medicine, without money and without electricity. We are going from bad to worse, we are walking two steps forward and ten steps back.”

On September 27, the Cuban government announced that  blackouts due to fuel shortages in Cuba , which are added to the frequent breakdowns in the island’s thermoelectric plants, will extend in the coming days because the country will not receive the necessary oil shipments.

In June-July Mexico sent 1,050,000 barrels of crude oil to Cuba free of charge. But Mexican financial issues are forcing it to terminate such free shipments.

On a Cuban television program Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil Fernández, and Vicente de la O Levy, Minister of Energy and Mines, said that these blackouts will also affect passenger transportation and economic activity, as well as the distribution of water in pipes , on which many communities on the Island depend for supply, among other vital activities.

These officials also said “We will not be able to maintain the same levels” of transportation and instead will promote teleworking. The current situation is due to the deficit in electricity generation due to fuel shortages. Some of the imported fuel was of poor quality that requires mixing and complicates distribution.

Senor Fernandez said that the regime does not have foreign currency to pay for the import of products included in the increasingly scarce food ration book . In October there will be pressure to meet the deliveries of milk and bread for young children. Part of this problem is due to this year’s inflation exceeding 20%.

Reactions

For a fuller understanding of this situation on the island, we will have to pay close attention to ongoing news.

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[1] Perez, The blackout crisis worsens: “the power outages have now lasted only two hours. Diario de Cuba (Sept. 27, 2023);More blackouts, less transportation and teleworking: the fuel shortage will worsen in Cuba, the government announces, Diario de Cuba (Sept. 28, 2023); The meager basic basket at risk: the regime says it is unable to import food and pay in foreign currency, Diario de Cuba (Sept. 28, 2023) ;Reyes, The ‘contingency’ is coming: the Cuban Government announces a new twist to the crisis, Diario de Cuba (Sept. 27, 2023);Mexico will not be able to give more oil to Cuba, its Government announces, Diario de Cuba (Sept. 27, 2023);Reuters, Cuban officials warn of increased blackouts due to fuel shortages, Guardian (Sept. 28, 2023); Martin, Mexico Mulls Charging Cuba for Oil as Cost of Donating It Climbs, Wash. Post (Sept. 26, 2023).

 

 

 

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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