UPDATED 7:27 AM PT — Thursday, September 19, 2019
Cuba is suffering a severe fuel shortage amid a sharp decline in oil and gas imports from Venezuela. Long lines have reportedly formed at gas stations across Cuba over the past few days.
The socialist government in Havana is blaming U.S. sanctions, including the restrictions on Venezuelan oil exports, for the crippling shortages.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has claimed the shortages are temporary as Cuba has secured oil delivery contracts for October from its other trading partners. However, Cubans have expressed a growing dissatisfaction with the fuel crisis.
“I had to leave work today to be able to get petrol, and there I already know the problem is, there is no petrol at any CUPET stations. I drove all the way from Miramar to put some in, and this is the only place that has petrol. And look at the queue, you can see it goes around the whole block. A problem? Yes, there is a problem. There is no petrol anywhere.”
— Alejandro Ruiz, resident – Cuba
The shortages have reportedly already affected the Cuban economy, triggering a drop in consumer confidence and spending as well as transportation revenues.