14ymedio, Havana, 14 January 2021 — Caracas increased its shipments to Cuba of gasoline and food in the last weeks of last year, according to documents from the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and data from the financial analysis platform Refinitiv Eikon, cited by the Reuters news agency .
The three shipments, which arrived at the ports of Nuevitas, Matanzas and Havana between the end of last November and the beginning of this year, made a total of 197,000 barrels of gasoline, along with other refined products.
In addition, the documents revealed that in December, the Island received 222 containers and hundreds of bags of food on the ships Icoa Uru and Melba, which landed at the ports of Mariel and Santiago de Cuba.
According to Reuters, the shipments were made when gasoline production recovered in Venezuela with the help of Iran, which supported long-delayed repairs and maintenance work at refineries in the country, which was why the government of Nicolás Maduro had reduced fuel exports to the island since the beginning of 2020.
PDVSA export reports also noted that supply to Havana in 2021 fell to 56,300 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and refined products and some 73,000 metric tons of petroleum coke.
In the first nine months of 2021, although it continued to receive oil from Caracas, the few arrivals marked several energy crises and long lines at gas stations on the island. This newspaper reported the chaotic situation that was experienced in Santiago de Cuba, where carriers spent hours at the La Cubana service center, located in front of Antonio Maceo square, waiting to fill their tanks.
It was last October when Havana once again registered a slight increase in the volume of fuel, receiving 66,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and refined products, 8,000 more than a month before, while in August it was only 40,000.
Despite the increase, the problems for passenger transport, the low availability of vehicles for garbage collection, the constant calls to save electricity and the reduction of working hours in the state sector have all continued these last months, under the argument that “there is no fuel.”
For Cuba, the shipment of oil tankers from Venezuela responds to the close collaboration between both countries since Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999.
Crude flows averaged 90,000 bpd through 2016, and have since declined as a result of low Venezuelan production and US sanctions. Washington accuses Havana of supporting the Maduro regime with intelligence and troops in exchange for fuel.
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