“The Liberian flagged Aframax tanker Suvorovsky Prospect arrived in Cuba's Matanzas port on the 14th of July carrying around 700,000 barrels of oil which were loaded into the Russian Ust-Luga port. The cargo is estimated to be worth 70 million dollars at market rates,” Reuters reported at the time.
“The ship is owned and operated by a division of the largest Russian company Sovcomflot as per the database for maritime information Equasis. Sovcomflot is currently under British, Canadian, and U.S. sanctions and has been denied insurance from Western companies on its vessel,” the news agency stated.
Russian energy and oil is currently being restricted from both the U.S. and Canada. Washington initiated an economic sanctions campaign against Russian entities and companies the 24th of February just hours after Moscow began its latest conflict with its neighbor Ukraine. The U.S.-led embargo has gained momentum in the majority of American allies as well as Europe and Britain reported to be planning to impose an embargo for Russian imports of crude oil until the close of this year.
Cuba is one of the communist-ruled countries located in the Caribbean which maintains diplomatic contacts with Moscow in recent months, despite its increasingly strained relations towards the West. The results of this relationship were apparent on the 14th of July as both sides benefited from Russia's massive delivery of gasoline to Havana.
Cuba's communist government has terribly inefficiently run the country's administration as well as its economy ever since the regime took the power of the island in the 1960s, leading the country to slide into poverty. The lack of funds has affected every sector that are affected, including the power industry in Cuba which is frequently unable to supply enough power to the Cubans.
“In the last few days, Cubans have been experiencing massive blackouts that caused enough tension within the people and the leader Miguel Diaz Canel had to address the situation on TV and embarked on a tour around the main thermoelectric facilities. The power blackouts of last year were one of the main causes of a series of uncharacteristic popular protests.” Infobae recalled on July 17.
Cuba's recurring blackouts have been a problem for Cubans on the Caribbean island for years due in major part due to the power grid's infrastructure imperfections. Russia's recent shipment of fuel oil to Cuba is likely to be an interim solution to the broader power crisis.
“According to experts, the problem is far from being resolved as it requires a radical recapitalization and modernization of the vulnerable thermoelectric plants, something unthinkable in the current context of the crisis,” Infobae stated on Sunday.
“Cuba produces most of its electricity from fuel oil, as well as its own production of heavy crude. Smaller distributed generation facilities that are fueled by diesel can help the nation to supplement power generation” Reuters observed on July 14.