Cuba Struggles to Buy Fuel as Imports from Venezuela Dwindle

Cuba is struggling to cover a fuel deficit as imports from Venezuela and other countries remain below historical levels and global prices boosted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine make purchases almost unaffordable, according to analysts and data, Reuters reported. The Caribbean country, which is dependent on fuel imports mostly from political ally Venezuela to cover more than half of its demand, is since last month dealing with diesel and gasoline shortages leading to long lines in front of stations. Insufficient fuel imports are another major hurdle for Cuba's economy, struggling to recover following the coronavirus pandemic and harsher U.S. sanctions imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has provided Cuba with more than 32,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude since 2019 even amid U.S. sanctions on both countries. But fuel volumes sent to the island have fallen as Venezuela has struggled to produce refined products for its own needs, according to vessel monitoring data. Cuba imported some 70,000 bpd of crude and fuel in the first quarter of the year, below the about 100,000 bpd the Communist-ruled island typically requires to meet normal demand, tanker monitoring data from Refinitiv Eikon showed. Read more.