A succession of enormous blaze blasts that could be witnessed from Havana 75 miles away, a bolt of lightning, and a lasting sulfuric odour. Lightning hit late on Friday, starting a five-day fire at Matanzas’ oil production storage unit. As per Mario Sabines, the town’s administrator, the fires expanded to three additional tanks holding tens of thousands of cubic meters of gasoline over the ensuing weeks “like an Olympic torch.” The inferno wasn’t certainly put out until Tuesday. At that point, it had severely damaged Cuba’s electricity system and resulted in one death and 125 injuries.
The blackouts ensuing
And as the dust settles, there is growing concern that it, along with the ensuing blackouts, may further undermine the “Cuban Revolution,” that is currently undergoing one of the most precarious phases of its 63-year existence. Thousands of Cubans, particularly those living in the remote rural areas, have indeed been enduring hour-long everyday power outages for days. Food spoils rapidly in the August heat, and sleeping is extremely difficult. A 12-hour power failure last July served as the initial catalyst for the enormous protests that followed.
Although the amount of petroleum, gasoline, and heating oil lost in the blaze has yet to be reported by the authorities, Cubans already are preparing for a worsening energy shortage. As Cuba’s South American partner battles to process sufficient petroleum for its own purposes, oil supplies from Venezuela have decreased. It is now more difficult for Cuba to purchase oil on the export business due to the rise in crude prices brought on by the conflict in Ukraine.
Tankers from Venezuela facing sanctions
The majority of the Trump government’s “highest effort” campaign against with the nation continues, notwithstanding Joe Biden’s election-year pledge to undo Trump measures that caused hardship on Cubans and their people. Sanctions continue to be imposed on vessels delivering Venezuelan oil to Cuba. According experts, this makes the island spend more for shipping. The United States provided scientific aid while Venezuela and Mexico dispatched different teams and much more than 100 tonnes of firefighting chemicals.
There are concerns among proponents of the normalisation resumed by President Obama that the Biden administration is “secretly optimistic that the electricity and other difficulties are an exam that ‘the government’ keeps failing,” according to Fulton Armstrong, the most senior consultant on Latin America for the US intelligence agencies.
Well before fire, Jorge Pion, head of the Latin America and Caribbean energy and environment programme at the University of Texas at Austin claimed that his analysis had shown a “complete breakdown” of the area’s electricity system this year.