Cuba’s Economy Is Running on Fumes

Without tourists bringing in foreign currency, the country can't afford enough fuel.

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Cuba Cuts Subsidies
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After three years on the edge, Cuba’s government can’t conceal the dire state of the national economy any longer. Too few tourists have visited since the pandemic, depriving the island country of the foreign currency it needs to buy fuel from abroad. As a result, industry is running at 35 percent capacity, and the number of buses operating in the capital has fallen by half since 2019. Even food production has been affected, with the Agriculture Ministry reporting that the production of pork, rice and beans is down 80 percent since 2018.

Government subsidies, a hallmark of the communist regime, are finally facing real cuts. For years, Havana took small steps to reform the economy, careful not to undermine regime stability. But things are getting desperate. For example, the government said Monday that 29 fuel stations would accept only dollars, a move that it hopes will raise more foreign currency and support fuel imports.

Geopolitical Futures
Geopolitical Futures (GPF) was founded in 2015 by George Friedman, international strategist and author of The Storm Before the Calm and The Next 100 Years. GPF is non-ideological, analyzes the world and forecasts the future using geopolitics: political, economic, military and geographic dimensions at the foundation of a nation.