Cuba’s Second Special Period – 2016

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Albert Bates

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on Peak Surfer on June 12, 2016

PeakSurfer

Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

"Cuba’s economy minister told the Cuban Parliament last week, in a closed session, (drum roll) that the country would have to cut fuel consumption nearly a third in the second half of this year."
 

Foodlines in Soviet Union 1991 (photo by A. Bates)

The story of Cuba’s Special Period has been told here before, but just to refresh. (light bongo beat) In 1992 the Soviet Union was undergoing great social upheaval at home and in the shifts that followed could no longer support its massive foreign aid dole-out to client states such as Cuba. Without Russian fuel and food aid — and more importantly without the Eastern European export market for its sugar and other commodities — and still under the 30-year-old embargo imposed by the United States, Cuba sank into catastrophic recession. The caloric intake of its population shrank by a third. Oxen replaced tractors and combines. Cuba teetered at the brink of collapse.

In the face of these challenges, the spirit of the 1953-59 student-led revolt revived and bolstered the willingness of the population to come together, tighten their belts and do what needed to be done. (light guitar comes in with the bongo beat) Urban gardens led by permaculture instructors arriving from Australia and South America sprung up along sidewalks, on balconies, and on rooftops. Bicycles, horse taxis and “camels” (massive 300-passenger buses) replaced the diesel classic car fleet. Ride share coops, farmers coops, barefoot doctors and street markets ignored the daily power blackouts and kept the country alive, even thriving. (conga beat picking up, maracas coming in) It was an historic moment, although if you ask the average Cuban, as we did four years ago, they would tell you they would never want to repeat the experience.

Generalisimo Batista and his rival, medical student Ernesto "Che" Guevara


When we visited in 2012 we noticed, and blogged here, that Cuba was doing some remarkable things but that much of their economic development came from and is planning to go forward on, their alliance with friends in the South, notably Venezuela and Bolivia. Instead of being addicted to Soviet fossil energy, they were becoming enslaved to Orinoco Heavy. (castanet roll) Cuba uses 80,000 barrels per day of Venezuelan oil, but when we visited they had ambitious plans for offshore fracking, a giant harbor that would handle oil supertankers and Chinese container ships too large to dock in Miami or Houston, and a revival of the sugar industry using Brazilian next-gen technology to make ethanol. In Havana, the neighborhood gardens were still there, but they were beginning to look a little seedy. (tambourine, cow bell)

Following the student-led revolt, conditions improved markedly.


Cuba’s economy minister told the Cuban Parliament last week, in a closed session, (drum roll) that the country would have to cut fuel consumption nearly a third in the second half of this year because the Venezuelan spigot was slowly squeezing shut. Venezuelan oil exports to Cuba have dropped 40% since January. As the news rippled out through Havana there was a universal sense of Déjà vu. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, won’t be fooled again (as George W. Bush said in his being-folksy mode, unable to recall where he was in the fool-me-twice-shame-on-me proverb and so reverting to a rock anthem lyric from his Yale fraternity days).

 

Havana 2012 (photo by A. Bates)

Venezuela is running dry, as is neighboring Mexico, and bargain basement crude sales to bolster Venezuela’s economy don’t help. Venezuela can no more supply the Citgo stations in Havana than it can keep the lights on in hospitals in Caracas.

Since we are not exactly getting the White House morning briefing we can only speculate on connections between the US military/intelligence community (triple oxymoron there)’s goals in Venezuela. We know that as the curtain comes down on the Pentagon-mesmermized Drone King Administration and up on an uncertain successor, it could be a chessboard moment. (bass drum and brushed cymbals)

 

Havana 2012 (photo by A. Bates)

We know, for instance, that the shortages in Venezuela are specific products, so other food and consumer goods remain available. Could it be that the crisis in Venezuela is less about the oil economy and more about black ops by opposition elements? Those elements would include domestic food companies controlled by long-standing opponents of the Bolivarian revolution of 1999. They control, for instance, 62% of every arrepa, a staple of Venezuelan cuisine.

The market distortion is curious. Venezuelans can purchase yogurt, cheese, teas, vegetables, chocolate and fruit, but not meat, corn flour, milk, coffee, and personal hygiene products like soap, toilet paper, sanitary napkins and diapers. In a managed socialist economy you’d think the reverse would be true. It is only when you look at the ownership of the companies where scarcity exists that it begins to make sense.
 

V.P. candidate Mike Pence and actor Everett McGill – Under Siege 3?

The Friday night military coup in Turkey is another one of those things that can be explained by other factors but the timing is curious. There is no love lost in either Washington or Moscow for the Erdogan regime. Russian press and other sources linked Turkey to the CIA-covert resupply chain for the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS), which the Syrian Army, supported by spectacular Russian air strikes, is in the process of decimating. Erdogan was a klutz, but he was Washington’s klutz. He made that very clear when he shot down a commercial Russian airliner and then okay’ed a new pipeline to take offshore oil and gas Israel was stealing from Gaza through Turkey to Europe. That will potentially square US accounts with kleptocrats in Kiev who keep siphoning gas meant for Europe and not paying for it.

 

Havana 2012 (photo by A. Bates)

As we penned this Friday night this we were watching the air battle over Ankara not knowing who was fighting for whom over what. That Russia Today is a more reliable witness than The New York Times is the new normal.

Cubans have been here before, and actually, this time it may not be as bad. The embargo is lifting. Although Donald Trump is out-polling Hillary Clinton in Florida, especially with Cuban-Americans, his war-chest is no match for hers and

Havana 2012 (photo by A. Bates)

nationwide, at this point in the election cycle, he is a diminishing threat to US-Cuba détente. (muted instruments, brushed cymbals, then just bongo) With air routes opening, tourist hotels being planned, and Havana’s notorious nightclubs a shorter hop than Las Vegas for half the population of the United States, Cubans only have to hold their breath while they turn off the fans 8 hours per day.

Then the

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner
Search the Diner
Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D
Archives
Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/A-Nightmare-Scenario-For-Offshore-Oil.htmlA Nightmare Scenario For Offshore OilBy Editorial Dept - May 30, 2020, 6:00 PM CDT[img width=1111]https://d32r1sh890xpii.cloudfront...

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/george-floyd-protests-police-brutality-intensify-live-200530231110124.htmlGeorge Flo...

What did I tell you?  Watts in '65 on Steroids.   RE[embed=1111,666]

The author of "Can White People Experience Racism" while hopefully well intentioned, redefines racism. To be sure and not add subjectivity, I consulted the dictionary: "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different ra...

SpaceX founder Elon Musk's idea to bomb Mars to terraform the environment and make it suitable for humans to live on is a ploy to launch nuclear weapons in space, according to Russia's space chief on Wednesday.The South African-born tech entrepreneur ...

Recent Facebook Posts

No recent Facebook posts to show

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly ref [...]

State Department-backed Armenian project to promot [...]

Instead of learning from the damaging history of b [...]

Diner Newz Feeds
  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Quote from: Surly1 on Today at 09:06:03 AMGuess we [...]

Quote from: Surly1 on Today at 04:36:08 AM"An [...]

this report from ground zero reiterates that white [...]

Quote from: Surly1 on Today at 04:36:08 AM"An [...]

Guess we'll find out of Cadet Bone Spurs can [...]

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly ref [...]

State Department-backed Armenian project to promot [...]

Instead of learning from the damaging history of b [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on February 24, 2020, 06:23:52 P [...]

I wonder how much these coins have been debased? [...]

Precious tip of the day.....Buy silver NOW  She [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

Quote from: Eddie on May 16, 2020, 10:30:30 AMQuot [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Quote from: Surly1 on May 16, 2020, 08:10:27 AMAnd [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 05:20:48 AMWhat?  [...]

Alternate Perspectives
  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Papers Please! By Cognitive Dissonance     For those who may not know, Mrs. Cog and I live in the mo [...]

Lies, Damn Lies and Coronavirus Statistics By Cognitive Dissonance     “Never believe anything in po [...]

The Decline and Fall of Civil Society Chapter One By Cognitive Dissonance     From my perspective at [...]

Missing In Action By Cognitive Dissonance     As a very young pup, whenever I was overdue and not ho [...]

Politicians’ Privilege By Cognitive Dissonance     Imagine for a moment you work for a small or medi [...]

Event Update For 2020-05-28http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-05-27http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-05-26http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-05-25http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-05-24http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

The Great Pause Week 9: México's Seppuku"The survival of life on earth depends on México’s dark fossil sunlight never seeing the light [...]

"We are one large solar flare, one errant asteroid, one mutant gene, or one nuclear winter away [...]

The Great Pause Week 7: Coping with a Nuclear Infection"Emergency preparedness plans are already inadequate, but the prospect of a mandatory mass evac [...]

The Great Pause Week 6: The Green Child"There passed long stretches of beautiful waterfront acreage with hanging Spanish moss, decayin [...]

The Great Pause Week 5 : Is it Over Yet?"The pandemic, as lethal as it has been, is not yet nearly bad enough."Área de Protección [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

In reply to Covidinamonthorayearoradecade. They're saying on the news I was just watching that [...]

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/30/protesters-chant-eat-the-rich-while-marching-through-b [...]

In reply to Norman Pagett. "Remove fossil fuels, and we revert to a pre 1700s economic system [...]

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/appeals-for-calm-as-sprawling-protests-threaten-to-spiral-out-of-c [...]

In reply to Tim Groves. all protestors are required to wear fireproof masks... and to stay 6 feet aw [...]

Same here! Greetings to all, and thank you Steve. [...]

Really glad to hear from you. Can't wait for the post. [...]

In reply to ellenanderson. Sorry I haven't been writing lately, there is a lot/nothing going on [...]

Hi sp gp Sorry didn't mean to be harsh. I myself go through waves of bitterness and anger (I lo [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction
Useful Links
Technical Journals

Trend-Run model was performed to estimate the trend in surface temperatures recorded at 12 sites in [...]

Resilience, adaptation and mitigation are unique but complimentary actions in the fight against clim [...]

This study investigated the spatiotemporal changes of land use land cover (LULC) and its impact on l [...]

Follow on our http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/