Cuba refuses quick fixes as economic crisis continues.

Cuba refuses quick fixes as economic crisis continues.
Image: Reuters

On Thursday, Cuba’s economy minister said there is no quick fix for its sputtering economy, as inflation, fuel shortages, falling farm production, and a cash crunch continue to fuel discontent in the communist-run island nation.

In an hour-long presentation to newly elected lawmakers, Economy Minister Alejandro Gil said Cuba would increasingly rely on domestic production because there was not enough foreign currency to import fuel, food, and farm products.

Gil told lawmakers, “If we can’t produce it, we won’t have it,” referring to some food products and urging legislators and municipalities to boost farm output this year and next.

Cuba’s worst economic crisis since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution has caused food, fuel, and medicine shortages and a record-breaking migration to the US.

Gil said tourism, once a major source of foreign exchange, has struggled to recover, with visitor numbers in January–April this year half those in 2019.

It lacks foreign currency to import fertilizer and animal feed.

Gil said inputs dried up, reducing state pork production from 199.7 tonnes in 2017 to 16 tonnes in 2022. He said many fruits and vegetables have also done poorly.

Gil said electricity generation has diverted fuel from farm production and delivery. In the first four months of 2023, Cuba produced electricity using nearly twice as much diesel as planned, the economy minister said.

Gil said rising food prices due to inefficiencies and dwindling production have outpaced most Cubans’ buying power, leaving many with salaries below their “basic needs.”

Cuba blames its problems on a Cold War-era U.S. trade embargo, but top officials have increasingly urged Cubans to find new ways to overcome the sanctions.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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