May 27, 2020

Díaz-Canel believes that the most critical stage of the fuel crisis in Cuba is over

The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, considered this Thursday the most critical phase of the fuel supply crisis that has affected the country in recent weeks and revealed that the island can now cover 62% of its requirements.

In an intervention before the deputies of the National Assembly (unicameral Parliament) broadcast tonight on state television, the president acknowledged that there will continue to be "tensions" in some sectors.

On September 11, Díaz-Canel announced that the country was facing a complicated "short-term" situation because it had temporarily stopped receiving oil due to pressure from the United States to shipping companies to prevent the arrival of fuel to Cuba in retaliation for its I support Venezuela.

Given this situation, which mainly affected transport and industry due to lack of diesel, the authorities activated savings measures in the state sector that have kept the country half-gas for almost a month and the population in fear of a new " special period ", the devastating crisis that the island suffered in the nineties due to the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

However, the Cuban leader said today that there have been "less affectations than expected", the country "was not paralyzed" and was able to avoid the "power outages" so frequent in the crisis of the nineties.

"There is a reserve of scheduled blackouts (of the) that I always say would be reported in time," said the governor, but said that the power outages that have occurred in recent times have been due to breakdowns.

He also called on legislators to assess, of the savings measures adopted, which "are for the moment" and which "to stay": among the latter mentioned the rationalization of electricity consumption in peak hours and the use of the means of Animal traction used in transportation and agriculture these weeks to save fuel.

"They are chasing us ship by ship, negotiation by negotiation … We cannot be naive and we have to protect ourselves," Diaz-Canel said in reference to the growing pressures of the US Administration.

He said that the country has emerged "strengthened and victorious" thanks to citizen reaction, reiterated his conviction that Cuba will not give up and rejected "betraying the commitment we have with sister countries", in reference to Havana's alliance with the Venezuelan president's government, Nicolás Maduro.

"We were defending more than the lack of fuel, we were defending the Revolution," he snapped.

At another time in his speech he indicated that it would have been "very easy" to apply "neoliberal solutions" such as the increase in the prices of fuel, electricity and food in this situation, but "none of that happened."

At the same time, he called "to fight against hoarding and speculation", two endemic evils in Cuba due to the intermittent shortage caused by its cyclical financial problems, to which the embargo that Washington has maintained on the island for almost sixty years is added .

But, according to the president, during the most acute phase of the crisis "it was shown that the Cuban Revolution is not isolated", as numerous high-level visits came among which highlighted the one of the Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitri Mendédev, who was in Havana last week and headed the signing of several contracts and bilateral agreements.

Although this is the most serious crisis Cuba has faced since the 1990s, the country had problems in this sector since the crisis began in Venezuela and subsidized oil shipments that Caracas sent to the Caribbean island to plummeted change of the professional services of doctors and Cuban teachers.

. (tagsToTranslate) Diaz-Canel (t) exceeded (t) criticizes (t) fuel (t) Cuba

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