Cuts to energy use likely as economy weakens

04 July 2016
Issue number 877

Reports appearing in the international media suggest that Cuba has ordered a number of state firms and joint ventures to reduce their fuel and electricity consumption probably as a result of the crisis in Venezuela’s economy. The extent of the rationing, which is expected to take effect this month, is expected to be revealed during a session of the Cuba National Assembly which meets formally on July 8.

Quoting as sources an unnamed senior diplomat and the Director of a foreign joint venture, Reuters said that that the Director concerned had seen a copy of instructions from the Economy Ministry to the state oil and electricity monopolies that said that quotas would be reduced by up to 50% through to the end of the year. The news agency however said that when the Director sought to check this, he was told that the level of cuts was still under discussion.

The report follows a carefully worded statement issued by the Council of Ministers following their June 27 meeting which was noted that they had discussed a report presented by the Minister of Economy and Planning, Marino Murillo, on the country’s economic performance during the first half of 2016.

It said that at the meeting Mr Murillo explained ‘that despite existing limitations, efforts to increase productivity and replace imports with domestic products continue, while members of the Council of Ministers emphasised the need to eliminate unnecessary expenses, and take advantage of opportunities for more savings and greater efficiency that exist in the economy.’

The report in Granma also said that he clarified that those activities ‘that maintain the vitality of the country, in particular those that generate (hard currency) earnings and import substitution, will be guaranteed.’

The news follows reports…

 

This is an extract from the Caribbean Council’s weekly Cuba Briefing, a leading publication that provides detailed and accurate news on economic, social and political developments inside Cuba to corporate interests with a long term economic relationship with the island.

The publication is available internationally on a subscription-only basis for those in business, government and the academic world who wish to understand on a weekly basis developments relating to Cuba.

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