Home » 500% increase in fuel prices in Cuba will come into force on March 1

500% increase in fuel prices in Cuba will come into force on March 1

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500% increase in fuel prices in Cuba will come into force on March 1

Cubans brace for significant fuel price increase on March 1

(CNN) — A major fuel price hike is set to take effect in Cuba on March 1, causing concern among residents in the communist country. The increase, originally scheduled for February, was postponed due to a cyberattack on government computer servers, as reported by state media outlet Cubadebate.

In anticipation of the 500% increase in fuel prices, the largest in decades, long lines have been forming at gas stations across Cuba. Drivers have been waiting for hours, and in some cases, days, to fill up their tanks before the price hike kicks in.

Many Cuban residents fear that the surge in fuel prices will lead to higher transportation and food costs, impacting their already modest incomes. The majority of Cubans who work for the state earn less than $20 a month, making even slight price increases burdensome.

“We are aware of the impact (the increase) has, since it is a transversal product of the entire economy,” said Minister of Finance and Prices, Vladimir Regueiro Ale, according to Cubadebate. Ale explained that the current fuel prices do not reflect the true costs incurred by the country and are a result of government subsidies.

Cuba, which has historically relied on subsidized oil imports from allies like Venezuela and Russia, is now facing a shortage in fuel supply. The country produces only 3 million tons of fuel domestically but requires around 8 million tons, leading to the necessity of importing the remaining amount.

Minister of Energy and Mines, Vicente La O Levy, emphasized that imports have decreased while national consumption has risen, necessitating a market-driven approach to pricing. As Cuba grapples with economic challenges, officials argue that passing some of the costs onto consumers is unavoidable.

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