No Lada parts for you! Ukraine war intensifies Cuba’s transportation crisis

Stretched Lada taxi in front of an advertising panel with political propaganda on it, Fidel Castro, Socialismo o muerte, socialism or death, Bayamo, Cuba, Caribbean, Central America

From our Sorrows of Former Colonies Bureau with some assistance from our Bureau of Bemused Schadenfreude

The world’s news media and Castro, Inc.’s Ministry of Apartheid Tourism love to call attention to the ancient American cars that still roam Cuba’s streets. But no one ever pays much attention, if any, to the ancient Soviet vehicles still in use, which vastly outnumber the Buicks, Plymouths, Chevys, Chryslers, and Fords that get all the attention.

Castrogonia’s transportation crisis — already colossal — is about to get worse thanks to those old Soviet vehicles, which require the availability of Russian parts, and also to those American cars, most of which have Russian engines under their hoods.

Siesta time! A noble savage and his beloved Lada in the Enchanted Utopia

Abridged from Aljazeera:

Global restrictions on transport and trade with Russia pose an especially serious problem for Cubans, whose socialist government has lived since the early 1960s under an embargo imposed by the nearby United States. Much of the island’s fleets of trucks, buses, cars and tractors came from distant Russia and are now aging, in need of parts.

And much like Russian tourists, those parts are no longer arriving.

Transportation in Cuba can be difficult in the best of times. Buses have often been in short supply, cargo trucks are sometimes pressed into service for rural passengers and the streets are filled with Russian-made Ladas, Niva SUVs and Jeep-like Uazs.

Even many of the legendary 1950s-vintage American cars that roll along Havana’s waterfront have been modified over the years to use Russian engines and other parts.

Cuban statistics indicate the island has about 20,000 old American cars and 80,000 to 100,000 Ladas.

“For the Ladas, everything is brought from Russia. Many people are going to be affected,” said Francisco Pérez Rodríguez, 57, who operates a lathe workshop in Artemisa, just southeast of Havana.

Read the whole story HERE