A Court Sanctions 13 Cubans With Up to Two Years in Prison for Reselling Fuel

Since the beginning of April, the Island has been going through a fuel shortage that has resulted in long lines at gas stations. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 2 June 2023 — A court in Havana sanctioned 13 people with sentences of up to 2 years in prison for reselling fuel in the midst of a severe shortage crisis that has affected Cuba for two months, official media reported on Friday.

According to a statement from the People’s Provincial Court of Havana, cited by Cubadebate, two people will serve their sentence with correctional work, while 11 more will go to prison. The minimum prison sentence is one year and four months.

In total, 15 people were tried – two were acquitted — for the crime of speculation. The sentence is not final, so it can still be appealed.

Those sanctioned, according to the court, sold the fuel on the Island’s extensive black market at prices ranging from 350 to 600 pesos per liter, that is, more than 20 times the price at service stations.

Since the beginning of April, the Island has been going through a shortage of fuel that has resulted in long lines at gas stations, which often don’t have the fuel.

This situation has led several Cubans to resell the fuel they manage to get at exorbitant prices as a quick way to get cash. The country is also going through a deep economic crisis that has been exacerbated since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

According to the court, they increased the framework for sanctions to 11 people, taking into account that the crimes “were committed in a complex scenario, nuanced by the shortage of fuel.”

The Cuban government reported at the end of April that the lack of fuel would continue until May due to “non-compliance by the supplying countries.”

Translated by Regina Anavy

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