The Lack of Fuel Forces Cars To Be Pushed to Service Stations in Havana

Several drivers push their cars to be able to reach the service station at San Rafael and Infanta on August 5, 2023, in Havana. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 6 August 2023 — It’s noon in Havana and the sun sparkles on the hood of the cars waiting next to the service center of San Rafael and Infanta. The line is already as suffocating as the one last May, when the fuel crisis reached its zenith and the authorities invited drivers to “take advantage” of the wait to “make friends” or “play dominoes” until their turn came.

Now there is no room to even joke about about the situation. The lack of fuel is such that many drivers are forced to endure an ordeal through the streets of Havana: with the help of one or two buddies, they push their cars from their garages to the station.

“Everyone is ’dry’,” lamented a taxi driver who hoped to beat the line, which now crosses San Rafael, turns at Zanja and winds around the block. “We need rationing according to the municipality, which hasn’t been done,” he added, recalling the disastrous measure of the Government that, in the worst of the shortage, prevented fuel from being bought in any establishment in the city.

The endless wait for a turn and the impossible lines — of several hours and in full sun — seemed to have been relieved, but with the arrival of August the situation again reaches a stalemate.

A rickety Kia with broken lights, a Renault with cracked sheet metal and the usual Ladas wait next to cocotaxis and motorcycles. The line makes all vehicles equal and imposes its misery on Havana, a city that – like the cars – no one has the strength to push anymore.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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