- Title: Venezuelan oil flotilla arrives in Cuba but energy woes not over
- Date: 4th October 2019
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (OCTOBER 3, 2019) (REUTERS) STREET WITH ROW OF VEHICLES WAITING TO FILL TANKS IN STATION GENERAL OF PETROL STATION WITH ROW OF VEHICLES WAITING ROW OF VEHICLES IN STREET ADVERTISEMENT AT POSTER STATION (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN RESIDENT, ERNESTO PEREZ, SAYING: "How many more questions? We could mention that they could make it easier for these queues to mobilise much more and end this spectacle because it really is just that and everyone uses this problem to get rid of the situation we are living in today country. These are the fundamental questions, it is not about... We are going to resist, but we can continue unlocking our brains to continue moving forward." AVENUE AND CAPITOL BUILDING IN BACKGROUND CARS AND BICYCLE TAXI'S ON STREET STUDENTS AT END OF SCHOOL DAY (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN STUDENT, HENRY KINDELAN, SAYING: "At least case in 12 (Grade at school) class schedules have been cut from 45 minutes to 40, and in the afternoon with the case of 11 (Grade at school) the same thing has happened too. That is also dependent on the arrival of the teachers. The professors who live far away, with the transport situation, they logically have to wait for a car, also hope someone can show solidarity and bring them to school." GENERAL OF VEHICLES IN ROW TO FILL UP TANK PETROL STATION WITH VEHICLES WAITING PETROL TANK JOEL ELEJALDE SELLING SWEETS TO CUSTOMERS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN RESIDENT, JOEL ELEJALDE, SAYING: "I think that with the oil issue I think they can help us (referring to the Russian government) although I imagine that it will not be very easy because the United States has a tight blockade on everything that is naval, so that ships enter here etc. So, well, I hope they can help us because in the end with this situation, the people who suffer the most are the people. Cubans are the ones who suffer the consequences of what is happening. It is very easy, a ruler can say: ' Yes, well, resist etc.â€™ But the people are the ones on the street, they are suffering. So I think that if there is the possibility that Russia will help us, our government must push for that possibility to come because there is no another way. Here it has already been said, our government said that they were not going to give in, that dignity comes first, all that I respect as a citizen. So if Russia is there to help us, we must hurry up, for Russia to help us."
- Embargoed: 18th October 2019 18:47
- Keywords: Cuba oil petrol economy Russia
- Location: HAVANA, MAYABEQUE, MATANZAS, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, MAYABEQUE, MATANZAS, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Government/Politics,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZOO3LZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A flotilla of largely Venezuela-owned vessels carrying crude and fuel gave Cuba some respite this week from shortages in the wake of tougher U.S. sanctions while Russia highlighted its commitment to helping the island develop its energy sector during a visit of the prime minister.
But support from two of its closest allies look unlikely to resolve Cuba's chronic energy problem and the government has retained energy-saving measures introduced over the past month as tensions with the Trump administration continue to flare and it braces for the next crisis.
Havana warned last Sept. 12 that it had not secured enough energy shipments of refined products for the rest of the month due to U.S. sanctions over its support for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The government swiftly deepened austerity measures it first started implementing in 2016 due to a steep fall in Venezuelan shipments in the wake of that country's own economic implosion.
Cuban authorities cut public transport, decreased production at some factories and encouraged the use of more animal-powered vehicles and wood-fired ovens.
But since late September, at least eight tankers carrying some 3.83 million barrels of crude and fuel have been shipped from Venezuela, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and internal data from State-run PDVSA, compared to five vessels loaded with 1.98 million barrels sent during the first half of September.
Venezuela's oil exports to Cuba rose to almost 143,000 bpd, more than double the volume sent in previous months.
There are no longer multi-hour queues at gas stations for gasoline, only for diesel, which remains elusive.
Transport officials this Wednesday said they would be upping the frequency of train and bus departures once more that it has cut drastically although not fully restoring to "normality".
President Miguel Diaz-Canel celebrated the fact the country had managed to avoid blackouts in September in an editorial in the Communist Party newspaper Granma entitled "No fear of the current juncture".
Meanwhile, the two-day official visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that concludes on Friday sent a signal the island is not alone.
The two countries are working towards reducing Cuba's dependence on energy imports by improving its energy efficiency and collaborating on oil exploration, a senior Russian government official told TASS news agency.
(Production: Nelson Gonzalez, Mario Fuentes, Anett Rios, Rodrigo Gutierrez)
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