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Cuba’s Economy May Not Survive the Fall of the Venezuelan Regime, Experts Warn

By: Karina Martín - Aug 4, 2017, 12:54 pm
Cuba's Economy
According to the economist Ómar Pérez, it would not be good for Cuba if the Maduro regime falls (Flickr)

EspañolEconomists are warning that a fall of Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela could be devastating for Cuba.

Professor of Economics at the University of Havana Omar Everleny Pérez said that the island’s economy isn’t prepared for Maduro’s fall because Venezuela is still Cuba’s number-one trading partner.

“For the past two years, we have seen that country’s problems coming but no measures have been taken to prevent the end of this commercial relationship,” he said.

When the crisis began in Venezuela, the supply of resources for the island immediately worsened as well, producing shortages, he pointed out. Those shortages could grow in the coming months.

“The country {Cuba} cut US $1.5 billion in imports in the first half of this year, which will directly affect the population,” he said.

He said one solution could involve sending highly qualified labor to other countries with oil reserves, such as Angola or Algeria.

“It will never be the same as in Venezuela, and those other countries could never absorb the amount of {Cuban} doctors that there are in Venezuela, but it would at least cushion the blow,” he said.

If the cost of oil goes down, it would allow the island to buy fuel from other allied nations, such as Russia or Algeria.

“In the event that the supply of Venezuelan oil stops, it would be worse than during the time of the {collapse of} the USSR,” Perez explained. “Venezuela provides half of the fuel we need.”

Cuba must immediately expand trade on its own, he said, a possibility that seems very distant after the freeze of new licenses that the Castro regime  announced last Tuesday.

“There is a mass of workers who could get out of state tutelage and pay taxes on activities related to what they studied,” he said. “This would prevent engineers with degrees in computer science from going to Canada or becoming taxi drivers.”

Sources: Cubanet; El Nuevo Herald.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.