The Cuban Government Backs off and Cancels the Increase in Passenger Transport Fares

On Monday, February 5, the sale of tickets for March begins and will do so at the prices currently in force and not at those announced for that month. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 2 February 2024 — “The prices of any of the transportation services are not modified, all will maintain their current price,” the Cuban Ministry of Transportation announced this Thursday. This decision comes a few hours after the postponement of the drastic increase in fuel rates, following an alleged cyber attack against Cimex, the state company that manages the country’s financial network.

The Prime Time Evening News on national television, in its nightly program, collected the words of the director of passenger transportation, Luis Ladrón de Guevara, which were confirmed by the minister of the branch himself, Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, on his Facebook account, where he published a post in which he dedicated this warning to the private transport sector: “The application of prices agreed with non-state forms of management is postponed until further notice” and “no increases can occur from today.”

State entities freeze their prices for all services: urban, suburban, rural, local boats and trains, medibus and other local services, as well as the “routes provided by Gazelles, tricycles, and the support provided by Transmetro and Escolares.”

The minister added that on Monday, February 5, tickets for March go on sale on interprovincial services and will also do so at the prices now in force

The minister added that on Monday, February 5, the tickets for March on interprovincial services go on sale and will also do so at the prices now in force, “so there are no changes.”

Finally, Rodríguez Dávila adds that when the price change announced in December is made – which was to come into effect on March 1 – the population will be informed “in a timely manner.”

Luis Ladrón de Guevara, in statements to the news, explained that air services – not mentioned by the minister – will not change their prices either and highlighted that the entity has created “the system to confront anyone who violates the established amounts,” without detailing it any further.

The general director of the Viajero company, Walter Luis Duvergel, also spoke, clarifying that the Viajando application used to market tickets will continue to apply the current prices for the sale of March tickets.

“The Cuban Government reported the day before the postponement of the update of fuel prices in foreign currency, taking into account that the projections to correct economic distortions will only be implemented if the conditions are created,” says the state agency Prensa Latina.

The announcement of the stopping of fuel price increases occurred on Wednesday afternoon, when, according to the First Deputy Minister of Economy and Planning, Mildrey Granadillo, “a cybersecurity incident occurred in the computer systems to trade fuels whose origin has been identified in a virus from abroad.”

The prices were even updated at the gas stations, with special gasoline at 156 pesos or 1.30 dollars instead of 30 pesos; regular and diesel at 132 pesos or 1.10 dollars and the motor fuel at 114 pesos or 0.95 dollars (instead of 25 and 20 pesos, respectively). The payment was planned in pesos, but also in dollars, according to the authorities to put an end to the subsidy to tourists, who must pay in foreign currency.

The payment was planned in pesos, but also in dollars, according to the authorities to put an end to the subsidy for tourists, who must pay in foreign currency

As a consequence of the alleged computer attack, remittances have been partially affected, at least from the United States. This newspaper was able to verify on Thursday that payments through Western Union (WU) were returned, as well as those made through Cuballama and Cubatel. While WU refused to give explanations “for security reasons,” Cubatel specified that transfers “are temporarily unavailable due to problems with destination banks/institutions in Cuba.”

For the moment, it is unknown when the issue will be settled and fuel prices will be updated, although the measures announced for transport, which still had more time before the increases were to take effect, predicts that it will not be immediate and rumors are running rampant across the Island, where all kinds of theories have emerged to explain the suspension of a measure that has caused a lot of annoyance in the population because it involves increases of more than 500% and promised to considerably increase inflation.

However, some are already beginning to denounce that private companies are passing on increases that have not yet occurred. Among the responses to official journalist Lázaro Manuel Alonso, who last night shared the Minister of Transportation’s post about the stopping of price increases, a commentator warned: “The state services, because the private service has already gone up. Artemisa-Guanajay was 50, now 100; and Pinar – Havana between 200 and 250, is now 500.”


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