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Cubans in the streets push back the police of the dictatorship

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Vladimir Putin increased support for the Cuban dictatorship, besieged by protests: he sent 700,000 barrels of fuel

The Russian Vladimir Putin lent a hand to the Cuban dictatorship and at the same time managed to locate products rejected by the West. The tanker carrying Russian fuel oil arrived in Cuba last Thursday, transporting supplies for the Caribbean nation’s power plants and giving Russia an outlet for its products rejected by the West.

The tanker Aframax Suvorovsky Prospect, with the flag of Liberia, arrived at the Cuban port of Matanzas, some 100 kilometers east of Havana, with some 700,000 barrels of fuel oil, loaded in the Russian port of Ust-Luga.

The cargo is worth about $70 million at market prices.

The vessel is owned by a unit of Russia’s leading shipping conglomerate Sovcomflot, according to the Equasis maritime database. Sovcomflot is under British, Canadian and US sanctions, and has lost Western companies’ insurance for its fleet. The United States and Canada have imposed sanctions on Russian oil and fuel over their military invasion of Ukraine, while Europe and the United Kingdom are moving toward a year-end embargo on imports of Russian crude.

Cuba, which relies on Venezuela as its main source of energy imports, has been forced to make one-time costly fuel purchases as its political ally struggles to meet its own domestic demand.

Some shipments have arrived from Russia, making the nation one of the largest importers of Russian fuel in Latin America this year, according to vessel tracking data.

Venezuela has sent Cuba some 56,610 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and fuel oil so far this year, slightly below 2021 levels, according to documents and data from the state oil company PDVSA.

In recent weeks, Cubans have been experiencing major blackouts, which generated so much tension in the population that the dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel had to go out to explain the situation on television and began a tour of the main thermoelectric plants. Last year these power outages were one of the causes of unusual popular revolts.

According to experts, the problem is far from being resolved as it requires a radical recapitalization and modernization of the vulnerable thermoelectric plants, something unthinkable in the current context of crisis.

The situation raises tension, which is why the Cuban regime deployed thousands of police and plainclothes agents throughout the country for fear of a revolt like the one that occurred on July 11 last year. That day, what seemed impossible happened on an island tightly controlled by the repressive apparatus of the dictatorship: thousands of Cubans spontaneously came out to complain about an already unsustainable cost of living, in addition to the constant political persecution of anyone who dissents against the model. communist implemented by the Castros for more than 60 years and the lack of individual freedoms of people. It started little by little. But suddenly it exploded.

The report A year without justice: patterns of state violence against protesters of 11J, made by the NGOs Cubalex and Justicia 11J, reflects that a total of 1,484 people were arrested, of which 701, aged between 12 and 68, still remain behind bars.

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Cubans in the streets push back the police of the dictatorship

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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