EFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 8 November 2023 — The Government of Mexico “has no commercial relationship” in the energy sector with Cuba, despite oil shipments from Mexico to the Island, the Mexican Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Alejandro Encinas Nájera, said on Tuesday in Havana.
Speaking to EFE during the National Day of Mexico at the International Fair of Havana, Encinas argued that, consequently, “there would be no reason” for companies such as the state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to be sanctioned by the United States for negotiating with Cuba. “Mexico is a sovereign country that has to diversify its trade relations,” the undersecretary said.
On October 16, Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, denied that there were adverse reactions from the United States and lenders over the sale of Pemex crude to Cuba. Similarly, the C.E.O. of Pemex, Octavio Romero Oropeza, denied that the oil company, the most indebted in the world, had donated crude oil to Cuba.
So far it is unknown why Mexico agreed to send oil to the Island, which depends on imports from countries such as Russia and Venezuela to jumpstart its flimsy electrical system.
Furthermore, the United States Export and Import Bank (Exim) denied in October that it had canceled financing to Pemex for sending oil to Cuba, as reported in some media.
According to data from the University of Texas Energy Institute, to which EFE had access, Mexico sent about 750,000 barrels to the Island in October.
According to data from the University of Texas Energy Institute, to which EFE had access, Mexico sent about 750,000 barrels to the Island in October
From March to September, Mexico sent 2.8 million barrels to Cuba, valued at about 200 million dollars, according to the figures collected by the university. Last month, the Mexican Foreign Minister, Alicia Bárcena, said that her country is evaluating “options” to charge Cuba for the fuel it sends.
“In every way we can, we will help the people of Cuba. We will do it so that they no longer have any doubts, including about oil, because they are a people that is suffering an inhuman, unjust blockade, and we cannot turn our backs on the people of Cuba,” López Obrador said in mid-October.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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