CUB | May 1, 2023

Fuel shortage in Cuba leads to cancelled May Day celebrations

/ Our Today

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FILE: People walk under a Cuban flag hanging in downtown Havana, Cuba, October 8, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/File)

The traditional May Day parade in Cuba has been canceled due to acute fuel shortages across the island.

This is the first time since the 1959 revolution that the celebrations have been canceled for economic reasons.

In recent weeks, long lines have formed at petrol stations, with drivers often waiting for days.

Earlier this month, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said Cuba was only receiving two-thirds of the fuel it needs, adding that suppliers were failing to fulfill contractual obligations.

FILE: Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. (Photo: Facebook @GOBPressOffice)

While Cuba has access to low-grade crude, the US-sanctioned island lacks the facilities to process it.

In the wake of the crisis, deliveries of higher-quality crude from Venezuela, Cuba’s largest provider of fuel, have dropped by 50 per cent in recent years.

Analysts say Venezuela is experiencing severe problems and finds it increasingly difficult to subsidise its ally.

For several years, hundreds of thousands of people have been transported from across the island to fill Havana’s Revolution Square on International Workers’ Day.

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