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Daily Archives: April 20, 2013

Entre los asistentes estuvieron el ministro de Cultura, Rafael Bernal; el exministro de Cultura, Armando Hart Dávalos; el expresidente de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, Ricardo Alarcón, y Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, hijo mayor del exgobernante cubano. Continue reading
Over a third of the detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay detention center are now on hunger strike, according to reports citing the Pentagon. CBS News said that 63 of the 166 men being held at the US-run Continue reading
Familiares, amigos, artistas y autoridades del Gobierno despidieron el sábado al intelectual cubano Alfredo Guevara en una ceremonia en la que, según su última voluntad, sus cenizas fueron esparcidas en la escalinata de la Universidad de La Habana. Continue reading
_ MIAMI So has food services at AmericanAirlines Arena, which will roll out a full-court press of restaurant-quality items over the first three rounds of the postseason on the concourses and in premium Continue reading
Orlando, Lia, and For Another Cuba are all asking for help to recharge the cellphone of Anger Antonio Blanco, activist and correspondent with the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), in Santiago de Cuba. You can recharge this phone and those … Continue reading Continue reading
LATEST NEWS: Condolences by Cuban Vice-President to Algeria LATEST NEWS: Holguin Sports Back up Venezuela LATEST NEWS: Cuban Group Obsesion Back to Holguin LATEST NEWS: Anti-polio Vaccination Campaign Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) Cuban Vice-President Marino Murillo signed on Friday afternoon, on behalf of the Cuban government and people, a condolence book at the Algerian embassy opened to pay posthumous homage to Ali Kafi, former President of the... Continue reading
SANCTI SPIRITUS, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) The Sergio Soto refinery, a Base Business Unit (UEB by its Spanish acronym), located in the municipality of ... Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) The Cuban National Ballet (BNC for its Spanish acronym) replays this weekend the Don Quixote ballet, whose Cuban version, with choreography by Alicia Alonso, had its world premiere Continue reading
SANTIAGO de CUBA, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) The renowned French actress Sandrine Bonnaire shared for the first time with the people of Santiago during the premiere of her movie ¨Her name is Sabine,¨ which opened Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 19 (acn) The peace negotiations between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) will resume in Havana on April 23. Cuban News Agency In Continue reading
(Calle 25 No 164 e/ O y Infanta; 00 53 7 835 0891). In the spartan apartment, rebels Fidel Castro and Abel Santamaria devised their 1953 assault on Santiago de Cuba's barracks - the catalyst for the 1959 revolution that toppled the dictator Ba... Continue reading
Cuba, la crisis en Venezuela y el fantasma del período especial Posted By Circles Robinson On 19 abril 2013 @ 8:18 Por Emilio Morales* (Cafe Fuerte ) HAVANA TIMES – La victoria proclamada por el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) de Venezuela a favor del candidato Nicolás Maduro ha dejado más dudas que certidumbre. A la [...] Continue reading
Changes In Cuba, I'll Believe It When I See It / Juan Juan Almeida
Posted on April 19, 2013

Many of you remember what happened in our country in the summer of
1989*. I'm referring to those trials that popular wits baptized, for the
range of events and actors, "Tropicana show under the stars, first and
second parts." During those dark and sordid events, in certain circles
of power a refrain that marked my life began to be heard: "Don't believe
anything you hear; only believe half of what you see."

It is precisely because of this that today, at a distance of almost
three years (since I left the island) and more than 90 miles, I can't
accept the different discourses coming from the island that describe an
actuality that speaks much and says little.

Can we attest that the modifications in the travel and immigration law
eased the entry to and exit from the country for Cuban citizens? Some
assert that yes, they did; but just a few days ago the Cuban counsel in
Moscow, under orders from Havana, refused permission for a gentleman in
his 70s who, feeling destroyed, told me in an email, "… They continue to
prevent my entering my beautiful island, I continue to be prevented from
hugging my three children and meeting my three grandchildren who were
born during the seven years they've prohibited my visiting Cuba."

How, then, can we believe in the ends? It's very true, the government of
the island needs a change, but that doesn't mean that it's choking or
dying; rather it is renewed, much to our regret. The abuse and threats
are not remotely proof of their losing power.

Judges, prosecutors and lawyers in the exercise of their profession,
assure that popular violence increases, irregular groups begin to take
to the streets with relative impunity, and the issue of corruption
exceeded the limits of unemployment. But of course, due to the divine
lineage of unnamed persons involved in crimes of embezzlement, the
Attorney General of the Republic of Cuba, which has the institutional
mission of protecting the political and legal order of the State and
Society, was ordered to dismiss more than three thousand cases. A
disturbing figure.

The country doesn't appear to be doing well and there are no visible
signs we can take as economically favorable. However some of my friends
who are officials, but not passionate, who hold important positions in
the central administration of the State, assure me that even though
Cuba's industries have no longer carry any weight, the economy is
recovering and predictions for tourism are on the rise.

It's difficult, from the United States, to understand how so many
artists, scientists, farmers, housewives and workers whose only purpose
in life is to survive day by day, and without belonging to either side,
whether it be the Montagues or Capulets, can visualize a slight personal
growth, and a subtle awakening of respect for individual liberty.

Right now, it seems like an hallucination to me; I'm not interested in
become an echo of the deluded or frustrated, of the optimistic or
pessimistic, the subjected or the believers. There are certain events
that manage to change our course and, as my grandmother used to say, on
the bus of life we are all passengers, even the driver.

I'm skeptical, unfortunately distance distorts events. Like St. Thomas,
seeing is believing. And however things are going, I want to witness it
in the first person singular, then I will ask for the absurd but
established permission and tell you about it.

*Translator's note: Highly decorated General Arnaldo Ochoa and others
were tried and convicted of drug trafficking and executed. See "The day
my mother lost her faith in the Cuban Revolution" by Yoani Sanchez, for
another perspective.

19 April 2013

http://translatingcuba.com/changes-in-cuba-ill-believe-it-when-i-see-it-juan-juan-almeida/ Continue reading
Raul Castro Buys Time / Ivan Garcia
Posted on April 19, 2013

On Sunday, April 14, at 11:45 PM Havana time, the president of the
National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, delared Nicolas Maduro, the
candidate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the winner
of the presidential election. More than a few bottles of champagne and
Russian vodka were uncorked by Cuban government ministers and military
businessmen in a relaxed and familial atmosphere.

The close victory by Chavez' hand-picked successor — 50.66% of the vote
compared to Capriles' 49.07% — was the culmination of a political
campaign orchestrated in large part from Havana.

While the Bolivarian comandante lay dying in CIMEQ, a large hospital
west of the city, the Castro brothers offered their services as
political intermediaries to the bereaved Chávez cabinet. It was in the
Cuban capital that a plan was cooked up and a timetable for succession
was worked out. Behind the scenes a script was being written.

Nicolás Maduro rehearsed the score beforehand. The regime did not want
any surprises. It was a matter of life and death. Of national security.

Egos, ambitions for power and rivalries among red-shirted comrades had
to be put aside. An agreement was patched together in the name of Chávez
and Latin American unity.

If they lost the election, twenty-first century socialism would die of
starvation. It would deal a death blow to the ALBA trade alliance, whose
members included Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba.

Without Chávez' policies of providing oil at cut-rate prices,
multi-million dollar loans and subsidies for Latin American social
projects, the continent-wide revolution's days would be numbered.

Maduro's mission is to continue Chávez' social policies in Venezuela and
to follow the moronic strategies of the lieutenant colonel from Barinas,
as well as his confrontational and anti-American rhetoric in the name of
Latin America's insurgents.

Maduro is being asked to be a clone of Chávez. It is all a symbolic
drama staged to reinforce pro-Chávez sentiment among the hill dwellers.

There is a little of bit of everything in the cocktail shaker. Allusions
to Christ. Recalling the Bolivarian leader through folk songs and hymns
interpreted in his voice. And mobilizing all the beneficiaries of the
PSUV's social policies to remind them whom they should vote for on April 14.

According to forecasts by the Cuban government, Maduro should have won
by a wide margin, with an overwhelming landslide of 15% to 18%

Maduro himself talked about getting at least ten million votes. But as
the days wore on and the country experienced blackouts, urban violence
and shortages, many Venezuelans began to suspect that they were being
led into a trap.

A difference of less than 235,000 votes in Maduro's favor can be read in
different ways. Capriles improved his standing, gaining a million more
votes than he did on October 7, 2012. And at only 40 years of age, he is
now a real threat to the ruling party.

During the fourteen years of Chávez' rule no opposition candidate gained
as many votes. Maduro must know that, if he keeps up the polarizing
rhetoric and tries to govern only for the benefit of his supporters,
half the adults in Venezuela will not feel comfortable about it.

The former bus driver and trade union official from Caracas could choose
to make a 180 degree turn and govern for all the people in the manner of
former Brazilian president Lula da Silva. If he leads the nation in an
inclusive, modern and coherent manner, he could escape from under the
shadows of his ideological father. He could even outshine him.

The county's internal situation presents a serious test. There are 7.2
million people who do not support the pro-Chávez agenda. With Hugo
Chávez' corpse growing cold, and the economic and social situation in
Venezuela continuing on its precarious course, Maduro has no other
choice but to listen to all political opinions.

The opposition has been strengthened. If they devise effective
strategies, they could attract more supporters. Chavismo could see
several hundred thousand people desert if Maduro does not govern with
complete independence.

It has been a Pyrrhic victory. It is possible to discern a maze of
confrontations. The atmosphere could keep heating up. Maduro is
obligated to govern for the good of all Venezuelans and to develop the
country. It would be a big mistake if he continued his predecessor's
practice of bleeding the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, to provide
bonuses to other countries on the continent.

Cuba's autocrats know that the alarm bells from Caracas could sound at
any moment. Raul Castro will "slowly but steadily" continue with his
tepid economic reforms. Nicolás Maduro's victory has provided a burst of
political oxygen. It has bought time. What no one knows is how much.

Iván García

17 April 2013

http://translatingcuba.com/raul-castro-buys-time-ivan-garcia/ Continue reading
Autoridades amenazan a sancionados Álvaro Yero Felipe 20 de abril de 2013 La Habana, Cuba – www.PayoLibre.com – El Departamento de Prevención, perteneciente al Ministerio del Interior (MININT), verifica a los que cumplen sanción sin internamiento o han sido puestos en libertad bajo palabra que estén desvinculados laboralmente. Entre los días 18, 19 y 20 [...] Continue reading
Ulloa and Mulet are Transfered to Valle Grande Prison / Luis Felipe Rojas
Posted on April 18, 2013

Havana, April 19. The regime opponents Miguel Alberto Ulloa Ginar, 23,
and Reinier Mulet Levis, 26, detained since April 10 in Havana, were
transferred to Valle Grande Prison.

Ulloa informed his wife, Tailadis Rosales Perez, that they transferred
them Wednesday morning from the National Revolutionary Police's
investigation center, on Calle Acosta and 10 de Octubre Streets, to
Valle Grande, in the municipality of La Lisa. This Thursday their
families were able to visit them for half an hour and bring them
personal hygiene items.

Both young men, members of the Republican Party of Cuba, swell the list
of political prisoners.

http://translatingcuba.com/ulloa-and-mulet-are-transfered-to-valle-grande-prison-luis-felipe-rojas/ Continue reading
Estudiantes cubanos no podrán participar en olimpiada internacional de física Yosvani Anzardo Hernández 20 de abril de 2013 San Germán, Cuba – www.PayoLibre.com – Abrahán Batista González es estudiante de preuniversitario (High school) y a pesar de haber obtenido medalla de plata en el evento nacional de física, no participará en el concurso internacional de [...] Continue reading
Intentan los cubanos jugar el Rugby más temerario del mundo Yosvani Anzardo Hernández 20 de abril de 2013 San Germán, Cuba – www.PayoLibre.com – Un grupo de jóvenes amantes del football Rugby aseguran ser los jugadores de ese deporte más temerarios del mundo, pues juegan sin equipo de protección y según ellos “al duro”, lo [...] Continue reading
More from GlobalPost: No Miranda rights for Boston suspect sparks debate Guantanamo spokesman Capt. Robert Durand said fifteen men are currently being force-fed liquid nutrients, "to preserve life or Continue reading
Solicitan autorización de entrada a Cuba del presidente del PRC Yosvani Anzardo Hernández 19 de abril de 2013 San Germán, Cuba – www.PayoLibre.com – El Partido Republicano de Cuba (PRC) acaba de anunciar que solicitará al Departamento de Inmigración y Extranjería del Ministerio del Interior, que permita la entrada a la isla del presidente de [...] Continue reading
Sube y Baja Yosvani Anzardo Hernández 20 de abril de 2013 San Germán, Cuba – www.PayoLibre.com – La Federación Latino-Americana de Mujeres Rurales en Cuba (FLAMUR), acaba de anunciar la inauguración extraoficial de un restaurante en la ciudad de Holguín que lleva por nombre “SUBE y BAJA” , tomado de la campaña de igual nombre [...] Continue reading
photo from http://www.diarioelatlantico.com On two occasions in Guanabo, a seaside town east of Havana, the authorities launched an action against the vendors who gather at 5th Avenue and C; but this Saturday there were much more despotic and cruel, because … Continue reading Continue reading
De la homofobia sexual a la ‘pluralfobia’ política Cuba celebrará dentro de unos días una nueva jornada contra la homofobia con la participación de la cantante española Massiel. Joan Antoni Guerrero Vall abril 18, 2013 Cuba celebrará dentro de unos días una nueva jornada contra la homofobia con la participación de la cantante española Massiel, [...] Continue reading
Publicado el sábado, 04.20.13 La isla más “fermosa” Alejandro Ríos Resulta admirable el estoicismo y la paciencia de Jay Z y su esposa Beyonce. Animados de compasivas intenciones pensaron que podrían ayudar fuera de su ámbito artístico, y partieron presurosos para Cuba con una tarea que les quedaba holgada, además de celebrar su quinto aniversario [...] Continue reading
Sociedad Autoridades quieren promover el casabe como ‘patrimonio cultural de la nación’ DDC | Camagüey | 20 Abr 2013 – 10:40 am. El alimento, que formó ‘parte indisoluble de la dieta del Ejército Libertador’, aún se fabrica en algunas zonas del país. Las autoridades promoverán el casabe como “patrimonio cultural de la nación”, según se [...] Continue reading
LATEST NEWS: CELAC Communiqué on Venezuelan Elections LATEST NEWS: Condolences by Cuban Vice-President to Algeria LATEST NEWS: Holguin Sports Back up Venezuela LATEST NEWS: Cuban Group Obsesion Back to Continue reading
[G+] Senior Editor, Truck Trend/MotorTrend.com Weekend Editor April 20, 2013 8 photos Few places are shrouded in as much mystery and mystique to Americans as Cuba. Although less than 100 miles off the Continue reading
U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, in a 2006 file photo reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official. Continue reading
Havana, Apr 20 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Museum of Fine Arts exhibits today a sample of the first pieces of its collection that turned 100 years this month. In a sort of time-machine trip, visitors will be able to see a good part of the heritage declar... Continue reading

Cuba, the Crisis in Venezuela and the Specter of the Special Period
Posted By Circles Robinson On April 19, 2013 @ 7:20 pm
Emilio Morales
*
(Café Fuerte )

HAVANA TIMES – Nicolás Maduro’s electoral victory, recently announced by Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), has left us with more questions than answers.

In view of the political instability which the South American nation has experienced since Hugo Chávez’ terminal illness was made public, the unsettling figures yielded by the Venezuelan economy and the uncertain future of Chavismo, a number of analysts have argued that Cuba could enter a second “Special Period in Times of Peace”, should Caracas be unable to maintain its oil shipments to the island.

The power cuts recently experienced in Havana and cities in Cuba’s interior have evoked the specter of the oppressive economic crisis of the 1990s, and have awakened fears among Cubans of a return to the times of the oil lamp, bicycle and soy-hash diets.

The response to these concerns, however, is that such a scenario is less than likely. The bitter experience of the Special Period was an exercise in survival that won’t be repeated. At the very least, that’s what President Raul Castro has been demonstrating since he came to power in 2006, when his brother and predecessor stepped down due to illness.

Cuba learned its lesson well in 1993, paying the price, then, for its economic over-reliance on the socialist block and Soviet Union (85 percent of its economy depended on these). Though the island’s economy is today heavily dependent on Venezuelan aid (42.29 % of exports and 28.42 % of imports), the levels of this economic dependence are nowhere near what they were in relation to its former East European allies.

Cuba’s imports and exports in 2011 may be broken down as follows:

Imports

 

 

 

Exports

 

 

 

Ranking

 (TP*)

2011

%

Ranking

(TP*)

2011

%

1

Venezuela

5,902,286

42.29%

1

Venezuela

1,716,739

28.42%

2

China

1,281,742

9.18%

2

China

786,200

13.01%

3

Spain

1,019,677

7.31%

3

Canada

718,800

11.90%

4

Brazil

643,082

4.61%

4

Netherlands

656,400

10.87%

5

Canada

479,257

3.43%

5

Spain

165,400

2.74%

6

Mexico

452,850

3.24%

6

Nigeria

102,600

1.70%

7

USA

430,420

3.08%

7

Brazil

82,100

1.36%

8

Italy

388,453

2.78%

8

Russia

67,200

1.11%

9

France

343,996

2.46%

9

Italy

51,100

0.85%

10

Others

3,014,235

21.60%

10

Others

1,694,461

28.05%

 

Total

13,955,998

100.00%

 

Total

6,041,000

100.00%

Note: (TP*) Thousands of Cuban pesos. The figure refers to the official exchange rate for Cuban Convertible Pesos reported by Cuba’s Central Bank. It is published exclusively for use by Cuban companies in their transactions in foreign currency. 1 CUC = 1 US $.

As can be appreciated, Cuban imports and exports are today much more balanced than they were 20 years ago. But these indicators alone do not suffice to conclude that Cuba will not experience a second Special Period as a result of the potential loss of Venezuela as a trade partner.

That conclusion can only be arrived at through the analysis of 30 economic and other factors that should have a significant, middle-term impact on the overall economy of the island. The trend of these factors points more towards change and an economic opening than to stagnation.

The table below, prepared using figures provided by the National Statistics and Information Bureau (ONEI) and other sources, compares figures for 30 economic and social factors collected in Cuba in 1993 and 2012.

No.

Line Item

Year 1993

Year 2012

1

Remittances in cash

242.24 MM USD

2,455.34 MM USD

2

Remittances in kind

150 MM USD

2,500 MM USD

2

Population receiving remittances

12.2%

62.4%

3

Tourists

120,000

2.8 MM

4

Income from tourism

240 MM USD

2,900 MM USD

5

Cubans living abroad

1 MM

2.2 MM

6

People working in the private sector

150,000

650,000

7

Nickel Exports

100 MM USD

1,413 MM USD

8

Medicine Exports

50 MM USD

500 MM USD

9

Tabacco Exports

30 MM

202.2 MM USD

10

Celphones on the island

0

1.5 MM unidades

11

Annual subsidy from USSR (1990)

5,000 MM USD

0

12

Annual subsidy from Venezuela

0

6,000 MM USD

13

Sugar Production

1297.9 (Mt) (2005)

1336.7 (Mt)

14

Relations with USA

Muy tensa

Acercamiento

15

Trade with USA

0

457.3  MM   (2012)

16

Oil Imports

1,629.9 Mt  

5,048.7 Mt  (2011)

17

Oil Extraction

1,107.4 Mt

3,024.8 Mt (2010)

18

Natural Gas extraction

574.1 (MMm3)  (2000)

1,072.5 (MMm3)  2010

19

Aviation fuel consumed

4.1 Mt  (2005)

4.5 Mt

20

Non-aviation gasoline consumed

354.2 Mt

225.9 Mt

21

Fuel Oil

5,110.2 Mt

4,940.9 Mt

22

Deep water oil exploration

No

Si

23

Investments in Education

138.4 MMP  (2008)

36 MMP          (2012)

24

Investiments in Health Care

219.3 MMP  (2008)

71.9 MMP       (2012)

25

Investments in Culture and Sports

56.5  MMP   (2008)

44.6 MMP       (2012)

26

Investments in Restaurants and Hotels

450.3 MMP  (2008)

603.3 MMP     (2012)

27

Investments in Business services and Property

183.2 MMP  (2008)

377.8 MMP     (2012)

28

Investments in Transportation, Warehouses and Communications.

368.3  MMP (2008)

522.2  MMP    (2012)

29

Imports

9,497,890 MP (2006)

13,955,998 MP (2011)

30

Exports

2,924,558 MP (2006)

6,041,000 MP  (2011)

 *MM: Millions

 *Mt: Millions of tons

 *MMP Millions of Pesos

 *MP Thousands of Pesos

Subsidies, Remittances and Tourism

The figures are crystal clear. The monetary subsidy which Cuba receives from Venezuela is equivalent to what it received from the Soviet Union: 6,000 billion dollars a year from Venezuela, as compared to 5,000 billion dollars from the Soviets, practically the same amount if we bear in mind the rise in prices that has occurred in the course of two decades.

However, when we look at the other indicators, we begin to appreciate considerable differences in the island’s current economic circumstances. For example, Cuba currently takes in 4.955.34 billion dollars in remittances (received in cash or in-kind), as compared to 392.24 million received in the form of these remittances in 1993 – 12.6 times as much. This explosion in remittances stems from the emigration of around 1.2 million Cubans in the last 20 years.

As a result of this migratory factor, 62.4 percent of Cuban homes today receive some form of economic aid from abroad, a figure considerably greater than the 12.2 percent which they received in 1993.

The development of Cuba’s tourism infrastructure has also resulted in impressive economic figures. While some 120,000 tourists visited Cuba in 1993, more than 2.8 million (23.3 times as many) did so in 2012. A comparable rise in revenues has thus been registered in the tourism sector: some $ 240 million collected in 1993 compared to $ 2,900 reported in 2012.

A similar trend can be appreciated in important sectors such as the export of nickel, medications and tobacco, which, together, brought Cuba revenues of US $2.115 billion in 2012, a figure well above the US $180 million reported in 1993.

Relations with the United States

Trade and general relations with the United States constitute a factor that cannot be overlooked in any evaluation of Cuba’s economic circumstances. Twenty years ago, bilateral relations between the countries were at their worst as a result of the balseros (raft exodus) crisis of 1994 and diplomatic tensions arising from the downing of two small planes over the Florida Straits in 1996.

The sale of U.S. food products and other items began in 2001 and has continued to date (though the volume of products sold has had its ups and downs, these trade relations have not been broken off). In 2012, Cuba purchased $ 457.3 million in products from U.S. companies, making the United States, despite the blockade, its seventh most important trade partner.

More recently, as a gesture of diplomatic reconciliation, the Obama administration lifted restrictions on the sending of remittances and travel to Cuba by Cuban-Americans. This led to a considerable increase in the flow of money and products to the island, resulting in some 470,000 trips to Cuba from the United States last year alone.

In addition to this, through people-to-people trips for academics, religious groups and NGOs, some 98,000 non-Cuban U.S. travellers visited Cuba in 2012.

The migratory policy set in motion in Cuba this past January also affords Cubans a means of coming into contact with the outside world, something that was unimaginable 20 years ago and which today represents a source of income for many families.

Domestic Policy

As far as domestic policies are concerned, Raúl Castro’s government has undertaken a series of reforms aimed at transforming the country’s economy. The package of new measures included the authorization of 183 types of small private enterprise and gave Cubans, for the first time in over 50 years, the right to sell houses and automobiles.

A substantial increase in the number of Cubans working in the private sector has resulted from this economic liberalization, something which was a pipe-dream 20 years ago. Today, there are over 650,000 people in the sector, as compared to 150,000 in 1993.

Despite its stumbling blocks and limitations, these small private businesses represent a favorable change towards the economic independence of Cubans and a rise in the living standards of the population. For instance, in 2012, 1.5 million citizens owned cellular phones. Though this figure is small when compared to those of other countries in the region, it is indicative of a notable increase in the population’s purchasing power in the hard currency market.

State investments in subsidized areas, once the showcase of Cuban socialism, have also been considerably reduced. Investments in such sectors as public health, education and sports were of the order of 152.5 million last year, a disbursement far below the 414.2 million destined to these sectors as a whole in 2008.

Investments and Oil

By contrast, a number of economic sectors of strategic importance have seen a considerable increase in investments. Over the same period of time, investments in restaurants and hotels, business and real estate services, transportation, warehouses and communications have been vigorously bolstered. In 2012, these investments amounted to US $1.503.3 billion, as compared to $1.001.8 billion invested in 2008.

In the course of 20 years, oil imports have increased considerably, from 1,629 to 5,048.7 million tons a year, thanks to the 100,000 barrels shipped from Venezuela on a daily basis. Crude oil extraction has grown from 1,107 million tons (1993) to 3,024.8 Mt (2010).

Oil consumption in 2011 was a mere 4,940.9 Mt. If we subtract the amount of oil consumed from the amount of oil available for use that year, we get the figure of 3,132.6 Mt of unused oil. It is not clear whether this unused oil was sold to third countries by the Cuban government, resulting in revenues that may be a considerable part of the $6,000 billion dollar subsidy the country receives from Venezuela every year.

Natural gas extraction indices also rose to 1,072.5 MMm3, nearly twice the figure reported in 2000 (574.1 MMm3). This gas is used in energy generation and contributes to a notable drop in oil consumption.

Signs of Survival

It is very unlikely that Cuba will experience another Special Period. Despite the credit limitations Cuba faces, its government has managed to diversify its exports and imports and to balance its trade equitably.

In the hypothetical event Cuba lost its oil subsidy and the benefits it secures through its medical aid to Venezuela, the island’s economy will no doubt face a rather complex situation. But this situation, and the absence of an economic alternative, will serve to hasten and intensify the reform process.

In any event, if Maduro wishes to keep Chavismo alive, he will have no option but to begin repairing the house from within, sacrificing the gifts Venezuela has been handing out to several Latin American countries, a generosity that is today unsustainable because of internal unproductiveness and inflation.

In the new, Post-Chávez age, Maduro has no choice but to re-invest millions in key economic sectors, undertaking emergency measures to keep afloat a country divided and exhausted by a misguided open checkbook policy. Otherwise, his administration will no doubt capsize in the turbulent waters ahead.

Cuba will no doubt suffer the consequences of a political crisis or economic debacle in Venezuela, but will not endure the catastrophic onslaught of a new Special Period.

*Cuban economist. Former head of the Marketing Strategy Planning Department of Cuba’s CIMEX corporation and author of the books “Cuba: A Silent Transition to Capitalism?” (“Cuba: ¿tránsito silencioso al capitalismo?”) and “Marketing Without Advertising: Brand Preference and Consumer Choice in Cuba”. He is the current president of the Havana Consulting Group based in Miami.

http://www.havanatimes.org/


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El viaje se organiza en la estela de una visita a la isla por parte de la congresista federal tampeña Kathy Castor. Continue reading
American mobster Meyer Lansky had a dream. He wanted Havana to bloom as the Las Vegas of the Caribbean; he wagered millions on his money-making vision - even building his own pleasure palace on the city's Continue reading
The percussionist and bandleader Tito Puente would have celebrated his 90th birthday this weekend on April 20. And the recently released box set Quatro: The Definitive Collection is an great place to Continue reading
, 1:26 PM NEW YORK A week after a raid that put Guantanamo Bay's largest and most communal prison camp under lockdown, the number of detainees the U.S. military says are participating in a 10-week-long Continue reading
Asegura que el candidato opositor, Henrique Capriles, provocó disturbios que dejaron ocho muertos y más de 60 heridos. Continue reading
The album Disco Negro by Cuban group Obsesion, which was awarded at the Cubadisco music fair in the rap music category, will perform in the north-eastern city of Holguin, as part of the 20th season of Continue reading
News Health Anti-polio Vaccination More than 30 thousand children from the northeastern Cuban province of Holguin will be vaccinated against polio as part of the second stage of the country's campaign Continue reading
La conexión Venezuela-Cuba tras el 14A En su hora de mayor vulnerabilidad, Maduro se aferra a La Habana con firmeza y está obligado a sacrificar parcialmente otras alianzas y algunos vasallajes para mantener el envío de los cien mil y pico de barriles que le aseguran, piensa él, la permanencia en el poder. por Alvaro [...] Continue reading
Venezuela y Cuba en “lista negra” de DDHH Por Efe – Agencia – 20/04/2013 Washington El “récord” de detenciones temporales de disidentes en Cuba, la concentración de poder en Venezuela y la “corrupción de justicia” en Honduras son los tres casos más emblemáticos de Latinoamérica en materia de violaciones a derechos humanos, según informe anual [...] Continue reading
Gloria Estefan, desde Roma, pide libertad para Cuba y habla de su fe y su oración Actualizado 20 abril 2013 En Roma se ha realizado este viernes el congreso sobre libertad religiosa en el mundo de hoy con el método TED, que le permite a los conferenciantes hablar un máximo de 18 minutos. El evento [...] Continue reading
19 de abril de 2013 • 23:19 EEUU acusa a Venezuela de intimidar opositores y denuncia autoritarismo en Cuba Estados Unidos denunció este viernes en su informe anual sobre Derechos Humanos que Venezuela siguió “politizando el sistema judicial e impidiendo la libertad de expresión” en 2012, mientras que acusó a Cuba de seguir bajo un [...] Continue reading
20 de abril de 2013 • 00:49 Socialismo del siglo XXI murió con Chávez, Vargas Llosa El “socialismo del siglo XXI” ha comenzado a desaparecer con la muerte de su ideólogo, el presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez, afirmó hoy en Río de Janeiro el escritor peruano Mario Vargas Llosa, Premio Nobel de Literatura de 2010. “Con [...] Continue reading
LATEST NEWS: Condolences by Cuban Vice-President to Algeria LATEST NEWS: Holguin Sports Back up Venezuela LATEST NEWS: Cuban Group Obsesion Back to Holguin LATEST NEWS: Anti-polio Vaccination Campaign Continue reading
LATEST NEWS: Holguin Sports Back up Venezuela LATEST NEWS: Cuban Group Obsesion Back to Holguin LATEST NEWS: Anti-polio Vaccination Campaign in Holguin Online: 67 guests Saturday, 20 April 2013 News Continue reading