US Sanctions Hit Cuban Sugar Industry Plan – News 24-7 Live News 24-7 Live
US Sanctions Hit Cuban Sugar Industry Plan

US Sanctions Hit Cuban Sugar Industry Plan

Since the sugar production season began in November, the Boris Luis Santa Coloma sugar mill in the small Cuban province of Mayabeque has been shut down intermittently for 13 days due to lack of fuel.

A dramatic stoppage for an industry that concentrates its production in only five months of the year.

The copper pipes needed for maintenance had to be taken from a neighbouring disused paper plant because the contracted ones never arrived, and the surrounding farmers ended up weeding the cane fields by hand for lack of fuel.

Cuban authorities said that the measures imposed by the United States on the island are dramatically affecting the Cuban sugar system.

Industry, which once generated 8 million tonnes of sugar per year, will fall short of the proposed target of 1.2 million tonnes this year.

In its heyday, the Santa Coloma sugar mill produced 20,000 tons per day.

Sugar authorities indicated that the island loses around 300 million dollars each year in the sugar sector due to the embargo laws.

Throughout the country, only 38 of 56 mills were able to begin this year’s harvest.

Dozens of plants linked to sugar production and the derivatives from this industry that go from the production of honey and rums, electricity generation to animal feed are now at a complete standstill or barely working.

The Cuban sugar system is vital for 600 communities that depend on it.

Some 1.2 million people make their living directly or indirectly from this sector throughout the island. But in recent decades, the level of production that made it world-renowned has steadily declined.

To start up the power plants each year, such as Santa Coloma, operators need equipment and spare parts that they cannot buy from US companies or have no financing. Farmers planting sugar cane need fertilizers and herbicides, and everyone needs fuel.

Once the sugar is in their warehouses, managers face all sorts of obstacles in transporting it to other purchasing countries.

Cuba consumes some 600,000 tons of sugar in its domestic market and sells its surplus globally.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Cuba achieved a beneficial partnership with the Soviet Union and its allies, which, in addition to buying all its sugar at preferential prices, supported its economy. But the fall of the socialist bloc was a hard blow for the island and in particular, for this sector.

Experts agree that the sanctions are a negative factor, but they also point out deficiencies in the organization and operation of the sugar industry.

News Source: Republic World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report News