Russia to the rescue: Putin grants new loans to Cuba, sends oil, fertilizer, and wheat

Castro, Inc.’s Ricardo Cabrisas, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitri Chernishenko in Moscow

From our Russification of Cuba Bureau with some assistance from our Bureau of Generous Sugar Daddies and Bungling Whores

Czar Vlad the Invader is making sure his new colony doesn’t slip from his hands by sending lots of aid and lending it more money. Ricardo Cabrisa, Castro, Inc.’s Minister of Foreign Commerce is in Russia right now sealing all of these deals. Meanwhile, however, a Russian diesel tanker has been waiting to dock for twenty days, and no one has offered an explanation for this delay. So, it seems that Castro, Inc.’s talent for bungling everything also extends to the gifts it receives from its sugar daddies.

Stay tuned. Many things are due to go wrong with this aid package. It’s only natural. Whorish Castro, Inc. will manage to screw up in myriad ways and then blame the “blockade” for its bungling.

From Havana Times

Being a key partner and reliable ally of the Kremlin has its advantages. Cuba knows this well all too well. During an intergovernmental meeting in the Russian capital on Friday, Russia committed to prioritizing “the supply of hydrocarbons, wheat and fertilizers” as part of its alliance with the island.

Cuba’s state news agency, Prensa Latina, reported that the Cuban delegation, headed by Minister of Foreign Commerce Ricardo Cabrisa, was informed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Chernishenko that the island would be receiving new loans intended to “guarantee the stable supply of oil, petroleum products, wheat and fertilizers, an issue that is extremely important to Cuba.”

The high-level meeting, which the news agency described as “plenary” in nature, was preceded by meetings of seventeen working groups that make up the Cuban-Russian intergovernmental commission. “With no other partner country in Latin America does Russia have such a long and diverse experience in the commercial and economic sphere as with Cuba,” Chernishenko stated. “We value the special nature of bilateral relations, which are not affected by external conditions.”

Jorge Piñón, a senior research fellow at the University of Texas and former oil industry executive, has no doubts about the significance of this event: Russia is coming “to the rescue” of its ally at moment of extreme crisis. The movement of tankers towards Cuban ports, which Piñón regularly monitors, confirms this.

One example is the NS Concord, an oil tanker carrying 697,000 barrels of crude oil that set sail from the Russian port of Ust-Luga, and is expected to arrive in Matanzas on March 29. Piñón also recalls that Cuba’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Vicente de la O Levy, recently mentioned — wihout providing details — that a “ship carrying 40,000 tons of diesel that would be arriving in Cuba “in the coming days,” which would have been in late February.

Piñón believes that it is under the direction of Eco Fleet, which has been transporting approximately 260,000 barrels of diesel fuel from Tunisia since February 7 and which has been in Cuban territorial waters since the 25th. As he points out, the ship has been waiting to dock and unload for twenty days, something he finds suspicious.

“Have they not had the money to pay for the cargo? Is there a problem with the ship? Are there problems with the quality of the fuel?” he asks. Someone will have to pay for the delay, he points out, if — as is customary — the Cuban government does not provide an explanation.

At a meeting with journalists on Wednesday, Vicente de la O Levy stated, “The path outlined for Cuba is to advance with our own resources, to move towards sustainability and energy sovereignty with our own crude oil, our gas and renewable energy sources.” The claim, in Piñón’s opinion, is naive at best.

Cuba’s dependence on Russia and its other allies, cemented by their political similarities, is the only thing the country can count on. “Russia has plenty of crude oil and, because of U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, is looking for new markets.” Also, Russian crude from the Urals region is the kind best suited to Cuban refineries’ capabilities. In fact, the refinery in Cienfuegos was designed specifically handle it. The most pressing problem for Havana is how to pay for it.

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