Russia is once again starting to play a strategic map of Cuba, located close to the US, and began to replace the supply of oil, which Venezuela stopped shipments to the island due to the severe crisis caused by the followers of Chavez. The success of Havana to the question of economic reforms depends on the stability of the Castro regime, and therefore Moscow is in a hurry to subsidize Cuba, as it already did during the cold war. At least as long as the Cubans will not be able to strengthen its financial position.
In early may, the Russian state company “Rosneft” reported about the conclusion of the contract with the Cuban state company Cubametals about delivery to the island of 250 thousand tons of oil and oil products (about 1.8 million barrels). In the middle of the month was supposed to arrive the first batch — 249 thousand barrels of diesel fuel. According to Reuters, the cost of the full supply volume could reach $ 105 million, but it is expected that Havana never this amount is not paid, not paid it and Venezuelan oil. If she had money, she could apply to different exporters.
We are talking about a real qualitative leap, because from 2010 to 2015, Russia has supplied Cuba with oil and oil products in the amount of 11.3 million dollars. This figure was understated given that most of this period, the price of oil was approximately two times higher.
Close to Mar-a-Lago
In the beginning of 2014 Moscow has expressed interest to return to Cuba. The Russian defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the intention to have a military base on the island and also in Venezuela and Nicaragua. But the events in Ukraine, and then in Syria has pushed back these plans. Last year, Russia reiterated its desire to place a base abroad, it is possible that this list might be Cuba, which until 2001 operated electronic intelligence center in Lourdes (Lourdes). Now he would be as close to the President of the United States, given the fact that Donald trump decides many important issues in his hotel at Mar-a-Lago (Mar-a-Lago), located in Miami. A significant increase in Russia’s subsidized oil supplies is the first tangible sign of her return to Cuba.
The few details known about the agreement, do not allow to conclude whether it is a single supply, or the oil will come regularly. Expert oil Affairs Antonio de La Cruz (Antonio de la Cruz), Executive Director of Inter-American Trends, believes it is highly likely that Russia will continue providing assistance to Cuba while Venezuela will not be able to supply oil to Cuba.
Problems with the supply of Venezuelan oil
For a considerable period of presidency of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela delivered free of charge (in exchange for the Cuban advisers and doctors) about 100 thousand barrels of oil and oil products a day, which the Cuban regime then sold. In this respect, Venezuela has assumed the role played by the Soviet Union during the cold war. At its completion, Moscow has scaled back its aid to Cuba, and in 1990-e years the island was in a very difficult economic situation, which has managed to emerge thanks to the support of Hugo Chavez.
The crisis, which is now Venezuela, led to the decline in the supply of Havana to about 60 thousand barrels per day, a decrease of 40%. Thus, Cuba can no longer sell oil to other countries as before. In 2016 Havana received on this article profit in the amount of only $ 15 million compared to 500 million in 2013, i.e., prior to a dramatic (97%) of the fall in oil prices.
In addition, the supply of Venezuelan oil to Cuba was of an irregular character, which led to the increase in the number of power outages due to the lack of diesel fuel and restricting the sale of high-octane gasoline. To resolve this problem and avoid visiting the oil refinery in Cienfuegos (Cienfuegos), Cuba signs agreement with Russia. Antonio de La Cruz believes that a large part of Russian export will have on diesel fuel, while Venezuela will focus primarily on the supply of crude oil destined for the refinery in Cienfuegos. “We don’t know how long the Russian oil supplies, but it is obvious that this is not a one-time event, but a whole strategy that testifies to the revived interest of Moscow to Cuba”, he said.
Joining the Central American Bank for
Understand the future of Venezuela is forcing Havana to take efforts to find alternative and diversified sources of funding. So, Cuba hopes to improve their access to credit — in spite of the cases of non-payment of the debt, the cheating which she always trusts — after joining the Central American Bank for economic integration (BCIE), the first regional financial organizations, of which she becomes. The appointment of the remaining member countries was held in April, and now Cuba will be eligible for loans destined for infrastructure development.
There has been a rapprochement with the inter-American development Bank (BID) with headquarters in Washington, whose Director recently received Cuban Ambassador in the U.S. capital.
In addition, the frequent diplomatic contacts to attract foreign investment. During his April visit to Madrid, foreign Minister of Cuba Bruno Rodriguez (Bruno Rodríguez) agreed on the issue of the arrival of the king or of the Prime Minister of Spain (it is assumed that, accompanied by representatives of business circles) to the resignation of Raul Castro, is scheduled for 2018.