Fuel Shortage Stalls Cuban Cars
There are many things that Cuba is known for, but here at The News Wheel we are mostly interested in its cars. The streets of Havana and other Cuban cities are populated with classic cars, many of them made before the Communist nation was isolated from the world by trade embargos. The Cuban government is now facing issues importing fuel, so traffic might be much lighter than usual moving forward.
Cuba gets fuel from the South American nation of Venezuela, which is currently facing an economic crisis that is making it more difficult to produce oil that can be used for vehicles. According to Reuters, Venezuela’s oil is very heavy, and the country needs specific supplies to dilute it. The problems in Venezuela mean that no one has been able to pay the distributors of those products, so shipments have stopped. In March, it was reported that Venezuela had a total shortage of motor fuel. If Venezuela can’t fuel itself, it doesn’t have much (if anything) to send to Cuba.
As of right now, the fuel shortage is affecting premium-grade gasoline, and the government has announced that it will be only be available to sell to tourists until it runs out. This might not sound like a problem, since cars driven here in the states rarely need premium gasoline. However, premium gasoline in Cuba is more on par with what we routinely get from the pumps and “regular” gasoline is much less refined than the standard fuel here. This means that the old cars driven by Cubans will be able to find gas, but the modern cars from overseas are out of luck.
Explore Florida: Take a look at some of the great destinations in the Sunshine State
Several embassies are working hard to make sure their staffs can still move about the country, with many of them encouraging carpooling and limited driving. One Eastern European country’s embassy has a car that runs on diesel so that they can continue driving, and another Northern European country has octane booster and other fuel additives to help modern engines make use of the poor fuel available.
We will keep an eye on the situation in Cuba. If things don’t improve for Venezuela, this shortage could spread to the classic cars covering the island nation and cause many more issues than it has already.