The Communist-ruled island, which depends on imports to cover more than half of its fuel demand, has not received any Venezuelan diesel since September, forcing costly purchases on the open market. Earlier this year, PDVSA exported jet fuel and gasoline to Cuba, tanker tracking data and documents showed.
PDVSA and Cuba’s information ministry did not reply to requests for comment.
Venezuela regularly provides crude to Cuba for refining and fuel oil for power generation. But due to its own limitations to producing motor fuels and U.S. sanctions, PDVSA has reduced refined product shipments to Cubametales since last year.
Fuel shortages have added to Cuba’s struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and from U.S. sanctions. Waits at stations in Havana have eased, but public transportation has not returned to normal capacity, a situation attributed by analysts to less fuel availability and lack of parts and vehicles.
Venezuela’s re-exports of diesel to Cuba was among arguments used by Washington to suspend in 2020 the authorizations it had extended for the South American country’s oil-for-fuel swaps.