Though Cubans are used to chronic fuel/energy shortages, the ruling regime must procure enough foreign oil to prevent outright collapse. It can only do it via highly preferential treatment, not to say practically free oil, from very friendly suppliers, chiefly Venezuela and Mexico (and to a certain extent Russia, though that has proved less reliable, not least because of the Ukraine conflict). Again, the Cuban regime MUST get enough oil from its friends to survive.
In 2023, Cuba got an estimated 5.4 million oil barrels (22,000 per day) from Mexico, valued at 391 million dollars. It also got well over twice that much (57,000 barrels per day) from Venezuela. Naturally, the terms and conditions of the relevant transactions have not been made public and are not likely to be disclosed, since that would virtually certainly make Mexico and Venezuela look inordinately generous, meaning like suckers.
Needless to say, the money Cuba is surely not paying for this oil is being effectively stolen from the people of Mexico and Venezuela, and it’s not as if either country is doing especially well for itself. But, obviously, the matter comes down to politics and ideological affinity. Venezuela is a kind of satrapy of Castro, Inc., and Mexico’s current president, who was a protégé of Fidel Castro, is an ardent and unabashed supporter of Cuba’s “revolution” (read dictatorship).
The Cuban regime, of course, is a confirmed and inveterate parasite and cannot function otherwise. Venezuela is a socialist dictatorship whose people, after committing the grave error of going that route, have no say in how national resources are spent. Mexico, however, albeit highly dysfunctional, is a democracy, and its always openly pro-Castro president was elected by its people–who are responsible for everything he does.and should be seen in that light.
Thus, even though the Venezuelan oil subsidy was pretty much guaranteed, if there had been no Mexican subsidy in 2023 that could have proved disastrous and possibly fatal for Cuba’s 65-year-old totalitarian tyranny. It is not certain what will happen after Mexico’s current president leaves office in mid 2024, but by then Havana may have secured getting oil from other sources, especially Russia, though no doubt Mexican “solidarity” will continue in some form.
Again, Cubans should at least have the self-respect to disassociate themselves from the “Latin” label. It is demeaning and undignified, and it was always dubious anyway, ever since its invention in the 19th century. We should not accept “brothers” who behave like Cain, and we should also reject a “mother” who is no such thing and never was. Alas, Cubans tend to be shallow and careless people who blow off far too much, as if everything were a game. It isn’t.