Construction sector’s recovery ‘dependent on financing through exports’

5th June 2023 Senior officials from Cuba’s construction sector have said that they are attempting to finance its return to viability through developing an income from exports. Speaking on the nightly television programme Mesa Redonda, the Directors of the Ministry of Construction (MICONS) and the GEICON Business Group identified energy supply stability and financing the […]

Gil says tourism’s return fundamental to Cuba’s economic recovery

29 May 2023 Deputy Prime Minister, Alejandro Gil, the Minister of Economy and Planning, has told Cuba’s National Assembly that “tourism continues to be the fundamental way to stimulate the recovery of the economy.” In a detailed address to Deputies on the country’s economic performance and priorities for recovery, he said that the sector was […]

Cuba-Russia business forum agrees measures to significantly strengthen ties

22 May 2023 Russia and Cuba have agreed at a business forum in Havana a series of economic and commercial measures that suggest that investment and trade relations with Russia may now deepen significantly. Remarks made there by Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitri Chernishenko, and Boris Titov, the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights and […]

Major hotel groups express confidence in recovery of tourism

15th May 2023 Announcements made during and in the margins of Cuba’s recently ended annual tourism fair FITCuba 2023 suggest that international hotel groups invested in Cuba have confidence that visitor numbers will fully return to 2019 pre-pandemic levels. Speaking at the fair, Gabriel Escarrer, the Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels, said: “We […]

Russia and Cuba agree to boost investment and trade relations

8th May 2023 Cuba and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to lead to a deepening of Russian private investment in energy, tourism, food production, civil aviation infrastructure, mining, and the development of sugar as an integrated agro-industry. At the end of a three-day visit to Havana, Makim Oreshkin, Presidential Adviser for Economic […]

Serious fuel shortages halt May Day parade, affect wider economy

1st May 2023 In an indication of the seriousness of the fuel shortages presently facing Cuba, the country’s symbolic mass May Day parade in Havana was dramatically downsized and relocated. Announcing this just days before it was due to take place, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, General Secretary, of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC), […]

Lavrov says Russia to agree debt restructuring, wheat and oil supply

24th April 2023 Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has said that the terms of the restructuring of Cuba’s debt to the Russian Federation are practically agreed. He was speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Havana during which he discussed the supply of oil, wheat, and other issues with government. “Many goals were […]

High court rules €72mn debt case can proceed against Banco Nacional

10th April 2023 The High Court in London has ruled that the Cuban State has no direct responsibility for €72mn (US$78.5mn) of accumulated Cuban debt held by CRF I Ltd, but that the Banco Nacional de Cuba (BNC) is responsible for meeting the claim (Background Cuba Briefing 6 February 2023). In a 94-page judgement, Judge […]

Russian private sector to play a larger role in Cuban economy 

3rd April 2023 Together with Cuba’s state owned Corporación CIMEX SA, Russian private sector interests are to open a wholesale supermarket selling Russian goods, and with Russian government funding will develop a first hotel for Russians. Additionally, a joint Russia Cuba Centre for Economic Transformation is expected to be established, and a new financial settlement […]

Gil details priorities and programme of economic change

27 March 2023 Cuba is relying on “the dynamic recovery of tourism,” the resuscitation of the productive sector, changes to state enterprises, and a better currency allocation system to deliver growth of 3% this calendar year, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil, the Minister of  Economy and Prices (MEP). In remarks made to the […]

US says open to receiving imprisoned protestors and dissidents

20th March 2023 Speculation is growing in the US that some imprisoned Cuban protestors and dissidents may soon be released, possibly into exile, leading to an easing in relations with the US. Reports from well-placed US NGOs and in mainstream media outlets including CNN, suggest that negotiations to this end continue. They cite the recent […]

Antilles Gold strikes new high-grade copper and gold deposits

14th March 2023 The Australian miner, Antilles Gold, has said that it has confirmed the presence of high-grade copper in samples taken from its El Pilar oxide concession in central Cuba. An expanded drilling programme will start in April 2023. This, it said, will focus, “on the copper-gold oxide domains and on a cluster of […]

Habanos says that its cigar sales reached US$545mn in 2022

6th March 2023 Habanos SA, has said that its revenue from cigar sales in 2022 was US$545mn, an increase of  2% on the previous year. In a presentation to the media at the start of the recently ended Habanos Festival, the company’s Co-Presidents Luis Sánchez-Harguindey Pardo de Vera and Maritza Carrillo González, told journalists that  […]

Cuba struggling to deliver its reduced 2022-23 sugar supply target

27th February 2023 Cuba is struggling to produce the 0.4mn tons of sugar it needs from its 2022-23 campaign needed to deliver the quantities required for domestic consumption and export. A report in Granma quoted Ángel Ríos, the General Director of Azcuba’s Productive Chain as saying that as of mid-February that there was a deficit […]

New law will require state enterprise to be ‘efficient and effective’

20th February 2023 A new law applicable to Cuban state enterprise is in preparation.  The document which is expected to be far-reaching is likely to be approved when the country’s National Assembly meets in December. Reporting that discussions on a new business law are underway, the Cuban News Agency ACN quoted Deputy Prime Minister, Alejandro […]

Cuba says willing to advance dialogue with Vatican to find ways to resolve problems

13th February 2023 President Díaz-Canel has been quoted in Granma as saying  that Cuba has the will to advance relations with the Vatican and continue building “with mutual benefit”, roads for “the solution of the expectations of both parties.” The report which followed a meeting between Cuba’s President and  Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who was visiting […]

Outcome of Cuban €42mn ‘sovereign debt’ related trial awaited

6th February 2023 The case before the High Court in London to determine whether an offshore Cayman company, CFR I is a legitimate creditor of the Cuban Government and the Banco Nacional de Cuba (BNC), has now ended. It is unclear when any ruling in the high-profile trial may be made public. The case revolves […]

Deficit budget aims to start gradual process of economic recovery

30th January 2023 Cuba’s Minister of Finance and Prices, Meisi Bolaños, has said that the most significant challenge facing Cuba this year will be delivering economic growth while continuing to deliver the country’s social provision and system of subsidies. Speaking with other ministers about the 2023 budget on the flagship television and radio programme, Mesa […]

Report suggests outlook for Cuban rice production bleak

23rd January 2023 Granma has published an interview that suggests that Cuba will be hard pressed in the coming years to achieve its objective of  producing domestically over 0.6mn tons of rice. This is the volume it requires if it is to deliver from domestic production alone enough rice to cover the regulated family food […]

Cuba’s Central Bank says €72mn debt claim to be heard soon in UK High Court

16th January 2023 Cuba’s Central Bank (BCC) has confirmed that legal proceedings will shortly begin in London before the commercial division of the High Court in a case relating to a debt recovery claim for €72mn (US$78mn) made against the Banco Nacional de Cuba (BNC) and the Republic of Cuba. In a statement issued on […]

Biden announces curbs on undocumented migrant flows from Cuba

9th January 2023 President Biden has announced that the US is to expand restrictions introduced during the COVID pandemic, to rapidly expel Cuban, Nicaraguan, and Haitian migrants caught illegally crossing the US-Mexico border.  The decision extends what are known as ‘Title 42’ restrictions, the legality of which are eventually expected to be ruled on by […]

Economy Minister forecasts gradual economic recovery in 2023

19th December 2022 Cuba’s Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil, has said that he anticipates the country’s economy will grow by a minimum of 3% at constant prices in 2023. The figure compares with a lower than expected GDP growth outcome of 2% this year. This compares to an initial forecast of 4%  (1.3% […]

France to improve Cuba’s international telecoms access

13th December 2022 Just days after the US Justice Department recommended the US Federal Communications Commission deny an application seeking the installation of a direct submarine telecommunications cable connecting Cuba and the US, Cuba and France have announced that a French company is installing a subsea cable between Cuba and Martinique. The agreement between the […]

US Justice Department recommends against direct undersea telecoms link

5th December 2022 A US Department of Justice led committee has recommended to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they deny an application seeking the installation of a direct submarine telecommunications cable directly connecting the US with Cuba. The new undersea cable was intended to carry internet, voice, and data traffic. The Justice Department […]

Díaz-Canel concludes ten-day visit to China, Russia, Turkey, and Algeria

28th November 2022 President Díaz-Canel has returned home from an intense four nation ten-day visit to Algeria, Russia, Turkey, and China. Official reporting suggests that there were significant immediate outcomes in China and Algeria but less so in Russia and Turkey. The visits were aimed at deepening political and economic relations through in-person dialogue about […]

President begins energy-led visits to Algeria, Russia, Turkey, and China 

21st November 2022 President Díaz-Canel has begun a ten-day intense programme of visits to Algeria, Russia, Turkey, and China, during which he is expected to discuss with his counterparts, Cuba’s problems with power generation, its need to develop new trade mechanisms, and the economic challenges the country faces. In an indication of the significance of […]

Havana International Fair returns with a large Spanish presence 

14th November 2022 After a two-year break because of the pandemic, the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) will in the coming week again take place with more than sixty countries represented, multiple official delegations, and a substantial business presence from Spain. Speaking about the thirty eighth FIHAV, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo […]

Azcuba seeks to calm workers fears about sugar sector restructuring

7th November 2022 Cuba’s state sugar producer Azcuba has confirmed that the 2022-2023 sugar campaign will  start in mid-November utilising just twenty-three of the country’s fifty-six functioning sugar mills. The objective it said, is to better use limited resources, increase efficiency, and stabilise future levels of production. In an interview with Granma, Dionis Pérez, the […]

Díaz-Canel says Cuba open to dialogue with Washington

31st October 2022 President Díaz-Canel has told a group of visiting North American and Cuban-American businessmen that Cuba is open to dialogue with the US. If it is based on respect, there could be “a narrowing of relations, regardless of the ideological differences that we have,” he said. Speaking during an informal meeting at the […]

Sherritt signs innovative agreement settling debt and future operations

24th October 2022 The Canadian miner and refiner of nickel and cobalt, Sherritt International Corporation, has signed agreements with its Cuban partners settling C$362mn (US$265mn) in outstanding debt over five years. It has also agreed the terms on which it undertakes future mining and other operations in Cuba. Under the agreement, beginning 1 January 2023, […]

Cuba to seek foreign investment in health tourism and well-being

17th October 2022 Cuba is hoping to bring together its experience in tourism and its capabilities in medical research and health care to become an international centre for health tourism and well-being. The intention is to seek foreign investment to develop the concept. According to Dr Yamila de Armas, President of the Comercializadora de Servicios […]

Cuba struggling to restore post hurricane stability in west of country

10th October 2022 Cuba is continuing to mobilise support and resources from around the island to try to restore power and water to the western province of Pinar del Rio and to parts of Artemisa following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian which hit the  island on 27 September. State media reporting indicated that at […]

Cuba struggling to recover from impact of Hurricane Ian

3rd October 2022 One week after Cuba was hit by a category three hurricane, Havana and some parts of the country are gradually beginning to return to normal. However, swathes of the island remain without power, adding significant pressure to the Government which is already under criticism for increasingly frequent power outages and shortages of […]

New emphasis placed on developing alternative forms of tourism

26th September 2022 Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, has said that while Cuba will continue to promote itself as a sun and beach destination it will be placing greater emphasis in future on nature and other alternative forms of tourism. Speaking at the opening of Turnat 2022, Cuba’s annual tourism and nature event, Marrero, who […]

State media details concerns about bread and medicine supply

19th September 2022 Cuba’s state media has begun to carry reports about shortages of bread and medicines and to publicly voice the concerns of many Cubans. In an unusual departure, the official publication Cubadebate has criticised the scarcity, high price, and quality of bread in Cuba, and the absence of any response from the ministry […]

Cuba hoping for smaller but more efficient 2022-23 sugar harvest

12th September 2022 President Díaz-Canel has told a meeting to evaluate the preparations for the 2022-2023 sugar campaign, that the harvest which is due to begin in mid-November will involve just twenty-three sugar mills, must be efficient, and have a level of resources that guarantees stable production. Speaking by videoconference to the Communist Party and […]

Cuba to open wholesale and retail sectors to foreign investment

5th September 2022 Cuba’s Deputy Trade Minister, Ana Teresita González, has confirmed that foreign investors will in future be allowed to own local wholesalers and establish public/private ventures in retail. The measures which are subject to various restrictions and controls, effectively opens the door for the firsttime since the Cuban revolution in 1959 to foreign […]

Gil says economic recovery gradual, inflation must be better addressed

Photo by Charles Corbin 25th July 2022 The Cuban economy is expected to grow by 4% this year, according to Alejandro Gil, the Minister of Economy and Planning. Addressing members of Cuba’s National Assembly, Gil said that up to the end of March the economy grew by 10.9% compared with the same period in 2021 but […]

Cuba and Mexico hoping to intensify their economic relationship

Photo by Wolf Shcram 18th July 2022 Cuba and Mexico are hoping to significantly deepen their investment and trade relations following a two-day Cuba-Mexico Business Forum held in Havana. The event was attended by some 80 Mexican and 150  Cuban companies including independently managed Cuban MSMEs. It saw 14 cooperation agreements signed in the areas […]

Tourism arrival numbers gradually improving

Photo by elCarito 27th June 2022 Cuba has reported a continuing gradual increase in visitor arrival numbers. This is despite the almost total loss of the Russian market after March because of western sanctions following President Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. The Cuban National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) has published figures showing that the […]

Ministers explore development challenges facing independent MSMEs

Photo by Max Letek 20 June 2022 A week-long series of meetings held between Government and those running independent medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) have indicated both the significance of their future role, and the complexity of their development in a planned economy. Jornada Econômica Produtiva Cuba 2022, organised by the National Association of Economists […]

López Obrador criticises US, says Mexico will deepen ties with Cuba

Photo by Filip Gielda 16 May 2022 During an official visit to Cuba, Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has indicated that Mexico intends continuing to deepen its ties with Cuba. The three-day visit saw him deliver a major speech recognising the historic importance of the Cuban revolution, the need for more equitable relations in the […]

Marrero says tourism expected to complete full recovery in 2022

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger 9th May 2022 Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, has said that he expects tourism to complete its full recovery in 2023.  Speaking during Cuba’s annual tourism fair, FITCuba 2022, which returned this year after a two-year break after the pandemic, Marrero said that Cuba was now benefiting from the sector’s global recovery. […]

Central Bank to licence cryptocurrency operations

Photo by Art Rachen 3rd May 2022 Cuba’s Central Bank (BCC) has published a decree law that establishes the procedures that those providing virtual assets (cryptocurrencies) must comply with to operate legally in the country. The regulation follows another gazetted last year which established a general framework (Background Cuba Briefing 6 September 2021). The new law makes […]

US says committed to ‘constructive discussions’ with Cuba

Photo by Aditya Vyas 25 April 2022 Cuban and US officials have met in Washington to discuss the implementation of the US-Cuba Migration Accords. The State Department described the meeting as a demonstration of its commitment to constructive discussions with Cuba.  The exchanges, the first since 2018, came against a background of surging migration, with around […]

Ministers say more efficient banking system

Photo by Eduardo Soares  18th April 2022 Ministers have said that a more efficient and responsive banking system better able to meet the country’s needs is required, and that government is developing programmes that should ensure that in future Cubans are better educated about financial issues. Cuban state media reported that at the annual evaluation meeting for Cuba’s Central […]

President Díaz-Canel suggests dialogue with US may be possible

Photo by Jose Fontano 11th April 2022 President Díaz-Canel has suggested that Cuba should not be afraid of entering into a dialogue with the US, citing comments made in 2009 by the country’s former President, Fidel Castro. In a Tweet with no clear context or explanation other than the coincidence of a date thirteen years ago when Fidel […]

Cuba aiming for four per cent GDP growth in 2022

4th April 2022 Photo by micheile .com The Cuban government has said that despite the many difficulties it faces, it believes it will be able to achieve its target of a 4% increase in GDP this year.   Noting this, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil, observed that in the first three […]

European and Canadian tourism ‘vital’ after loss of Russian market

Photo by Philip Myrtorp  28th March 2022 Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, has said that in the absence of Russian visitors, it will be vital to strengthen the presence of tourists in Cuba from traditional source countries such as Canada, the UK, France, and Germany. He also noted that it will be necessary “to bet on […]

All unprofitable state companies to undergo special audit

Photo by Remy Gieling  21st March 2022 Cuba’s leadership has launched a process that will analyse on a company-by-company basis why state enterprises projecting losses for this year have done so, and see measures introduced to reverse the situation.  Announcing this to a meeting involving company representatives, President Díaz Canel said that it would be necessary […]

Concern expressed about economic impact of conflict in Ukraine

Photo by Tina Hartung 14th March 2022 Cuban Deputy Prime Minister, Alejandro Gil, the Head of Economy and Planning, has said that he expects the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to have an unfavourable economic impact, warning of increases in the price of food and essential products the country imports.  Speaking following a high-level working meeting […]

US officials say Russia sanctions will hit Cuba ‘in a matter of days’

Photo by Jessica Knowlden 7th March 2022 Cuba is likely to experience a significant economic setback because of the wide-ranging sanctions imposed by the US, EU, and others on Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine. US officials have said that they expect the effect to be felt within a matter of days.  Speaking to Voice of […]

Cuba Issues carefully worded statements on events in Ukraine

Photo by Yehor Milohrodskyi 28th February 2022 Cuba has issued a declaration calling for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine and a diplomatic solution “which guarantees the security and sovereignty of all”.  In a 26 February statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex) said that Cuba as ”a country that defends International Law […]

Sherritt confirms it will expand its mining joint venture in Cuba

Photo by Shane McLendon 21st February 2022 The Canadian nickel and cobalt miner, Sherritt International, has said that despite the impact of the global pandemic, continuing US sanctions, and rising input costs, it has been able to meet it 2021 production and cost targets and will as planned proceed with the expansion of its operations […]

Minister speaks frankly about economic challenges facing Cuba

Photo by Markus Spiske 14th February 2022 In a frank address about the economic challenges facing the Cuban government, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil, has asked Cubans for their trust.   Speaking to viewers and listeners to the flagship radio and television programme Mesa Redonda, Gil spoke in detail about […]

President identifies priority for government in 2022

Photo by 7th February 2022 Speaking at the first meeting of the Council of Ministers to be held this year, President Díaz-Canel has said that Government’s priority tasks in 2022 will be improving the supply of food and goods, containing inflation, designing a comprehensive policy towards the non-state sector, and continuing to deepen remote […]

Minister says economic decentralisation essential for recovery

Photo by Williams Cruz Perdomo The Minister of Finance and Prices, Meisi Bolaños, has said that to reduce Cuba’s projected 2022 fiscal deficit of CUP 75.8bn (US$3.17bn) the country needs to boost income by increasing productive activity in the municipalities and the participation of all economic actors.   Bolaños told viewers of the television programme Mesa […]

Cuba hoping to receive 6mn visitors by 2030

Photo by Florian Wehde 24th January 2022 Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García, has said that Cuba hopes to receive annually over 6mn visitors by 2030.   Speaking to Spanish businesspeople on 19 January prior to Fitur 2022, Madrid’s international tourism fair, García said that by 2030 the country expects to have a hotel capacity […]

Sugar sector struggling to address much needed change

Photo by Victoria Priessnitz 17th January 2022 Cuba’s Vice President  Salvador Valdés Mesa has expressed concern about the progress of the present sugar harvest.   Speaking in Sancti Spiritus on12 January as the milling of cane got underway across the country, he observed on Twitter  ‘It has not started well’, noting the need to rigorously evaluate […]

Ministers outline economic plan and priority objectives for 2022

Photo by Francesco Gallarotti 10th January 2022 The Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil, has told members of the country’s National Assembly that Cuba’s GDP is expected to grow by 2% in 2022.  Addressing the assembly’s Economic Commission before Christmas, Gil said that after the 13% fall in GDP experienced over the last two years, […]

Potentially exploitable new gold deposit identified in Camagüey

Photo by Rene Böhmer 13th December 2021 Cuba is to begin a technical and economic feasibility study of a gold deposit estimated at about eight tons in ten veins in Loma Jacinto in Camagüey province. According to experts at Cuba’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, the concentration, the second largest in the country, could yield hundreds of […]

Biotech and pharma ‘underpin’ China-Cuba economic relations

Photo by Maximalfocus 6th December 2021 Cuba and China have confirmed that cooperation in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals now plays a central role in the development of economic relations between the two countries.  State media reports of the eleventh meeting of the Cuba-China Biotechnology Working Group quoted Cuban Deputy Prime Minister, Jorge Luis Perdomo, […]

Tourism minister prioritises health and safety as Cuba reopens

Photo by Yifan Wu  29th November 2021 Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García, has said that the country is committed to developing responsible tourism, in which the health and safety of all visitors and Cubans is prioritised.  Speaking to locally based tour operators about the reopening of the country’s airports, ports, and hotels for tourism, […]

New biotech industrial complex to manufacture vaccines for export

Cuba has announced that it will open soon its first high-technology plant in an area of the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) that is to house a new biotechnological industrial complex. The plant, a joint venture involving the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and BioCubaFarma, will produce vaccines for export including the country’s […]

Government confirms need to address escalating retail price inflation

Photo by Felix Tchverkin Marino Murillo, the Head of the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development, has confirmed that retail price inflation in Cuba’s domestic economy is now one of the principal problems facing the country and that government must address it. Speaking to members of Cuba’s National Assembly on 27 October, he said that the […]

Sherritt confirms plans to increase nickel production

Photo by Philipp Arlt The new President and CEO of Toronto-based Sherritt International Corp, Leon Binedell, has confirmed that the Canadian mining entity intends to maintain its presence in Cuba, and has said that it will increase nickel production at its plant in Moa.  Speaking to the Cuban media during a first visit to the company’s […]

Economy minister says 2.2% growth this year will usher in gradual recovery

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger Cuba’s economy is expected to grow by 2.2% this year, initiating what Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil, the Minister of Economy and Planning, has said will be a gradual economic recovery.  Speaking to the media, Gil noted that despite an 11% fall in GDP in 2020, the country was likely to see […]

First Cuban non-state private companies approved

Photo by loli mass Cuba has approved as legal entities the first privately owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The decision will initially see 32 private and three state entities begin operations in food production, manufacturing, recycling, and establish IT related businesses in the Science and Technology Park of Havana. The decision marks the start […]

France agrees US$53mn investment in Cuban vaccine production

Photo by Ed Us  France will provide Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV) with €45mn (US$53mn) to expand production capacity for its vaccines against pneumonia and meningitis that are mainly destined for Sub Saharan and other parts of Africa.  The announcement and recent COVID vaccine production-sharing and supply agreements with other countries suggests that Cuba will in […]

Mexico provides Cuba with a political lifeline

Photo by Jorge Aguilar Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has reiterated his belief that the US government should lift its embargo on Cuba, and not take advantage of what he described as the misfortunes of other people.  Speaking in the presence of Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba’s President, and his guest of honour at the official event […]

Cuba to gradually reopen its borders to tourism in November

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger   Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism has said that, as of 15 November, the country will gradually reopen its borders to international tourism. It is doing so, the Ministry said, on the basis that, by then, more than 90% of Cubans will have been vaccinated, and a high percentage of travellers from its principal […]

Central Bank regulation may indicate wider future use of cryptocurrency

 Photo by drmakete lab Cuba’s Central Bank (BCC) has gazetted a resolution establishing rules for the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. The legislation makes clear that the BCC, ‘for reasons of socioeconomic interest’, may agree to ‘the use of certain virtual assets in commercial transactions and grant a license to virtual asset service providers for […]

Cuba’s health care system struggles under weight of new COVID infections

Photo by Artur Tumasjan  Cuba’s health care system is continuing to struggle under the weight of the pandemic and the difficulties the country is having in purchasing equipment, spares, and medical supplies.  During August, the situation became acute with government reporting shortages of critical care beds in some provinces, and a collapse in the supply of […]

Biden outlines future US policy options on Cuba

Photo by Jose Matute  President Biden and senior US officials have outlined some of the options they are considering to increase pressure on the Cuban government to induce change. In a statement issued on 25 July, in which he announced new sanctions intended to “hold accountable for their actions” Cuba’s Minister of the Armed Forces, General […]

Uneasy calm returns after unprecedented wave of street protests across Cuba

An uneasy calm has largely been restored to the streets of Cuba’s cities following an unprecedented nationwide wave of public protests on 11/12 July. Responding to the protests in Havana and other cities involving many thousands, significant numbers of whom were young, Government brought the police, and large numbers of uniformed and plain-clothed security personnel […]

Popular unrest in Havana and multiple cities – Government reacts

Photo by Jeremy Zero  As Cuba Briefing closed for press, some of the largest demonstrations and confrontations seen in Cuba in recent years were taking place in several Cuban cities, including Havana.  Largely spontaneous and widely reported on social media within Cuba, the unrest was a response to growing concerns about food shortages, severe power outages, […]

As pandemic cases surge, Tropical Storm Elsa threatens

Photo by Johannes Plenio  Cuba is facing the double threat of having to address surging pandemic levels, while preparing for the passage of damaging winds and rains, as Tropical Storm Elsa crosses central parts of the country.  At press time, the Cuban government had announced that, given the proximity of the tropical storm, each of its […]

Three dose Abdala vaccine potentially world class

Photo by Mika Baumeister  Cuba’s Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) has said that after a third dose, the country’s Abdala candidate vaccine is 92.28% effective against COVID-19 and its variants.  If formally confirmed, this places it at a level similar to vaccines developed by Pfizer or Moderna, and higher than those of AstraZeneca or […]

Cuba says its Soberana 02 vaccine has 62% efficacy

Photo by Mat Napo Cuba has announced that two doses of its Soberana 02 vaccine have a 62% efficacy, a figure that exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) requirements for a candidate vaccine to be recognised as a vaccine. Further results about the efficacy of a combination of two doses of Soberana 02 with one of Soberana […]

Paris Club creditors agree to reschedule Cuban government debt

Photo by Jeremy Zero Cuba and its Paris Club creditors have agreed to reschedule the repayment of the country’s outstanding medium and long-term government debt. The decision came at a meeting in Paris on 9-10 June between Deputy Prime Minister, Ricardo Cabrisas, and members of the Club’s Ad Hoc working group on Cuba.  According to a […]

Ministers approve changes to legal status of state and non-state enterprises

Photo by Jeremy Stewardson  Cuba’s Council of Minsters has approved changes to the legal status of all state and non-state enterprises and cooperatives, including the country’s many small, medium, and micro private businesses that deliver services from clothing design to vehicle repairs.  The new laws, when published, are expected to confirm that state enterprises remain the […]

Argentina and Cuba sign letter of intent on COVID vaccine production

Photo by Markus Spiske Argentina’s Health Minister, Carla Vizzotti, and her Cuban counterpart, Dr José Angel Portal, have signed a letter of intent that is expected to see the two countries collaborate in the production of Cuban vaccines developed against COVID-19. The letter specifies that the collaboration relates to ‘the immunisation of the population of Cuba […]

Cuba hopes to restore economy to pre-pandemic levels by start of 2023

Photo by Jeremy Zero Cuba’s Minister of Economy and Planning, Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil, has said that despite the pandemic and the tightening of the US embargo he believes that the Cuban economy can return in 2023 to the same level of GDP recorded in 2019. Explaining this to the media during a review of […]

Decree law confirms primacy of Cuba’s state enterprise sector

Photo by Florian Wehde Cuba has confirmed in a decree law that socialist state enterprises will remain the principal economic entities in the Cuban economy, play the main strategic role in the production of goods and services, but in future have autonomy in administration and management. This new decree law contains 15 measures that make up […]

Seventy per cent of Cubans to receive vaccine by August

Photo by The Associated Press Cuba has said that it expects to have vaccinated 70% of all its citizens by August using its nationally developed Abdala and Soberana 02 vaccines. In the meantime, it is to begin an intervention study which will see it administer the two candidate vaccines on an emergency basis in provinces […]

Pandemic showing little sign of abating in Havana

Photo by Adam Nieścioruk  President Díaz-Canel has said that that the transmission and lethality of COVID-19 is increasing and above all is concentrated in Havana. He was speaking at a 28 April meeting of the high-level working group on the pandemic that had been told that 18 people had died in a single day of COVID-19; […]

Continuity and modernisation, themes of eighth Communist Party Congress

Photo by Abrajam Escalante  Generational change, continuity, and modernisation of the Cuban Communist Party so that it is better equipped to lead in a rapidly changing world, were the main themes of the eighth Party Congress which ended on 19 April. As expected, the fourday event saw the remaining members of Cuba’s historic leadership stand down, […]

Raúl Castro steps down, confirms Party will limit extent of economic reforms

Photo by AFP Raúl Castro has told delegates attending Cuba’s eighth Communist Party Congress that he will be standing down as its First Secretary despite the wish of some to encourage him to continue. Addressing delegates at the end of a report from the Politburo, which set the scene for the issues to be considered […]

Upgraded tourism to be locomotive of recovering Cuban economy

Photo by Aurélien Courtet  Cuban tourism will continue to be a locomotive of the country’s economy, generating income that contributes to increasing the well-being of all, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero has told a meeting of the Ministry of the Tourism (Mintur). Speaking to more than 300 regional tourism executives by video link, Marrero, a former Minister […]

Australian gold miner moving ahead with venture in Isle of Youth

Photo by Christina Deravedisian The Australian company Antilles Gold has reported that it is hoping to discover gold and silver in exploitable quantities on a site that it is exploring at La Demajagua on Cuba’s Isla de la Juventud. It is also considering a similar acquisition at Golden Hills in Las Tunas in central Cuba. The […]

Visitor arrivals fell by 25.4% in 2020

Photo by MJ Haru The number of visitors to Cuba fell by 25.4% in 2020 despite the country experiencing positive arrivals numbers in January, February and March 2020. The figures, which reflect the serious impact of the pandemic and the closure of the country’s borders for much of last year, can be found on the website […]

Havana Club has good year despite pandemic

Photo by Tim Rüßmann The CEO of Havana Club Internacional SA, Christian Barré, has said that although 2020 was an unusual year due to COVID-19, the company had been able to adapt, show good results and increase market share in most of the markets in which it is present. Speaking to the media he said that […]

CARICOM Chair calls for reset in US relations with Cuba

The Chair of CARICOM, Dr Keith Rowley, the Prime Minister of Trinidad, has called for the US to return to a policy of engagement in its relations with Cuba. Speaking on 26 February in an online event organised by the Washington think tank, the Atlantic Council, he called for a reset in relations between the […]

Better local planning required in sensitive tourism locations

Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, has said that Cuba needs to end the construction of ‘anachronistic’ buildings in areas of environmental and visitor importance. Speaking in Varadero during a visit to review progress on a Council of Ministers development plan approved in 2019, he urged the local and the provincial authorities in Matanzas to do […]

Ministers defend the impact of economic reforms

Photo by Peter Zimmermann via Getty Images Cuban ministers have said that Government is monitoring closely public concerns about the impact of currency unification on prices and wages and have stressed that, where possible, remedial action will be taken to ensure fairness. Speaking on the flagship Television programme Mesa Redonda – the principal vehicle for […]

Greater economic role envisaged for the private sector

Photo by Jeison Higuita  15th February 2021 Cuba’s Council of Ministers has approved and published a list of more than 2,000 forms of employment that in future can be undertaken by the country’s embryonic private sector. The announcement, which had been expected, confirms that Cuba’s non-state sector is likely to grow and will be given new […]

Cuba ramping up its vaccine production capacity

Photo by Ivan Diaz 9 February 2021, Issue 1084 Cuba is scaling up its bio-pharma production facilities to manufacture millions of doses of its COVID-19 Soberana vaccines. Speaking on the television and radio programme, Mesa Redonda, Eduardo Martínez, the President of the Business Group of BioCubaFarma, said that Cuba is currently working on having the capacity […]

White House confirms early review of Cuba policy

Photo by Tabrez Syed 1 February 2021, Issue 1083 The Biden White House has confirmed that it will review the former Trump administration’s policy towards Cuba. Speaking on 28 January the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said that in doing so the new administration “will take its own path”. In answer to a question, she […]

EU rejects US terrorism designation

Photo by Chris Hardy 25 January 2021, Issue 1082 The European Union’s High Representative, Vice-President Josep Borrell, has criticised the inclusion of Cuba in the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. An EU statement following the third EU-Cuba Joint Council meeting noted that Borrell regretted that the decision by the outgoing Tump administration “will have […]