Cuba’s “Temporary” Situation

Rosa Martinez

Cuban president Miguel Diaz Canel (r) explains measures taken to confront fuel shortages on the Island.

HAVANA TIMES – Fate would have it that the arrival of the temporary situation (which everyone comically calls the crisis we are currently experiencing here in Cuba), caught me at a time when I’ve been on house-arrest, as I had a household accident which has practically cut me off from the outside world for some months now.

Bad or good fortune wanted me to (directly) miss out on the rough time my fellow Cubans, family and daughters are experiencing.

I say I haven’t suffered it directly because I haven’t needed to get from one side of the city to the other; I only leave home when I have medical appointments

I haven’t been directly hit by zero local and scarce inter-municipal transport, but like any other human being, I need food, personal hygiene and other basic products to live, and I have suffered these shortages just like any other Cuban on the island.

No country can get by without fuel, and Mr. Trump knows this very well, which is why he is hellbent on keeping this blockade which isn’t anything new. The US has been trying to bring about a change of government here for over half a century, but their strategy has always been to hurt the Cuban people (it seems the end justifies the means).

The reality is that every time they tighten the noose, things become bleaker for Cubans. US measures want to stifle the economy, I imagine they don’t know that over 11 million people, including children and elderly people, rely upon the national economy.

In the 21st century, ensuring root vegetables, vegetables and meat supplies is impossible with just yokes of oxen, to plow the earth as well as to transport harvests.

Without fuel, every industry shuts down, from building materials to personal hygiene products, or food industries such as bread, crackers, etc.

Garbage is piling up on street corners and in neighborhoods, important medical services have been suspended, education has been affected and, of course, without public transport people find it even harder to get to school and work, or go to the doctor, get paperwork sorted out and any other errand.

In a nutshell, the entire country comes to a stop.

According to the news, several tanker ships carrying Venezuelan oil have made their way to the island. The situation hasn’t been resolved once and for all, a lot more than 5 or 6 ships are needed to stabilize the distribution of this vital fossil fuel.

Maybe things won’t stabilize in what’s left of 2019. And the Cuban people know this. People are turning to horse-drawn carts; they put together the old bikes they have stored for a long time, as best they can; or they just walk long distances.

We have a new challenge. It isn’t the first one we’ve had on this island that seems to be cursed to perish in poverty. Nobody knows what the future holds, the Empire continues to tighten down and, as we well know, the Cuban government will never give in.

How much longer can we hold out? Nobody knows…

Rosa Martínez

Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.



6 thoughts on “Cuba’s “Temporary” Situation

  • Rosa, I would encourage you to consider another option. Rather than looking to blame another country for Cuba’s lack of fuel, could it possibly be that Cuban leadership has failed to diversify its fuel sources? After all, if “buying” Venezuelan oil is problematic, why not buy from Mexico? From Iran? From Russia? Even Brazil would love to sell fuel to Cuba. But wait, maybe it’s because Cuba wants free stuff. The fuel from Venezuela is subsidized if not free. Don’t blame the US. There is a petroleum glut in the market. Prices a relatively low. The problem is the Cuban mindset. Cuban leadership feels entitled and wants free stuff.

    Reply
    • very simple -the cuban government never pays. and now everyone wants money upfront which the cubans don’t have because the communists have wired the money to Zurich..

      Reply
    • I think what you said is perfectly correct.

      Reply
  • And then also consider that Cuba is nowhere near self sufficient in its food production. 80% of it is imported (already for years)!! Not because the farmers had to plow with oxen, but because of the complete mismanagement of the economy by the government. Cuentapropistas are allowed, but when they seem to become succesfull the laws, taxes, etc. are changed (because the government is against the aquiring of wealth by the populace). If you farm the land, the government decides what and how much you produce (no incentive there to produce a bit more or something different from which a farmer or cooperation can gain some extra income). The other day I read about pig farms where the taxes go up from 20% to 50% when they produce more than (I think it was) 75 pigs a year … how strange they raise 74 pigs every year!
    Trump is an ass and he indeed wants to change things in Cuba through means I don’t support, but the problems in Cuba are nearly totally caused by complete mismanagement by your own government!

    Reply
  • Simple open up to democracy to free multi party elections and freedom of speech.
    Remove communist monopoly controlled media and oppression.

    It’s really your own dictatorships fault.

    Reply
  • As a Canadian I have See Bean Crops to Feed the People Turned Under & The People where Not Permitted To Step Foot on the Land & Hand pick That Food, What The Hell is Wrong OR What The Hell is Going On In Cuba. I Have Witnessed Food Wasted Because, No One Will Talk. I Have Lived More Time In Cuba Than Canada for the Past 5 Years & I Can Only Tell All You Readers There is Something Very Wrong when Children are Hungry & A Canadian Needs To Provide For Them. I Have Lost as Much as 30 Pounds in one Visit from Food Shortage when I Need To Feed there Children, Cuban Children. The Sugar Daddy Nation. I Had A Big Giving Heart & Cuba Has Created Blood in Tears From Seeing & Hearing Cuban Children Cry,s & Others People Laughing at my Pain seen as a Yummy. Many Canadians Are Angry with Life of Children in Cuba. The Truth Hurts & The World is NOW Watching Very Close.

    Reply

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