Many years ago (before the death of Castro) I had a holiday in Cuba. There was a severe fuel shortage, due to the US blockade.

The US was, from at least the 1960s up until very recently indeed – after the death of Fidel at least – a net importer of oil. So, how could the US embargo – no exports from the US to Cuba – cause an oil shortage in Cuba?

28 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. An arts graduate notes embargo ≠ blockade (not that there was necessarily a blockade).

    Anyhow, welcome back to the familiarly functioning blog.

  2. A blockade is a very different thing from an embargo, surely?

    I.e. one is an act of war and the other a refusal to export?

  3. Read the rest if the letter. She wants a scheme of making it illegal to not pick up hitchhiker’s and give them a token for their troubles to help cut emissions.

    Because of course a nation of 65 million with a non homogenous sense of trust and open borders is the sane as a high trust population of 11 million

  4. Maritime Barbarian

    Cuba is an island. It can obviously trade with the whole world, not just its largest neighbour.
    If the Cubans made anything the world wanted to buy, of course.

  5. I don’t know if it happened, but by being a net importer, and therefore probably one of the biggest customers of many of those oil companies, presumably the US could apply pressure telling them not to trade with Cuba unless they wanted to be placed on a blacklist.

    Exactly the same way they flex their muscles now and stop trade bu putting pressure on banks, credit card companies and others to prevent ‘unwanted’ transactions from happening even when it doesn’t touch their borders.

  6. Pingback: On Yer Bike – Longrider

  7. @ The Mole
    Perfectly correct – except that Cuba’s patron was the largest oil producer and, by far, the largest exporter outside OPEC and its oil companies didn’t care a tuppeny damn about US sanctions. So Cuba’s dependency on Russia for subsidised oil was not an economic problem.

  8. “I was delighted to read Daniel Boffey’s article on hitchhiking (Hitchhiking revival given the thumbs up to cut emissions, 28 September). I do hope this may catch on in the UK.”

    It already exists. It’s called Liftshare. It works very well. Hundreds of thousands of people use it. I’ve done a regular share and also just taken lifts with people and given them money for petrol.

  9. “Hitchhiking revival given the thumbs up to cut emissions – I do hope this may catch on in the UK.”

    So does Rutger Hauer

  10. Read the rest if the letter. She wants a scheme of making it illegal to not pick up hitchhiker’s and give them a token for their troubles to help cut emissions.

    Women will of course be exempt from having to pick up men, effectively men would be obliged by Law to be a taxi service for female strangers. Any accusation of sexual assault against the man would be treated as guilty until he can prove otherwise.

  11. @ Rob

    “Any accusation of sexual assault against the man would be treated as guilty until he can prove otherwise.”

    Nice try Rob but it needs amending….

    Any accusation of sexual assault against the man would be treated as guilty.

  12. I thought that Cuba mainly got it’s oil from Venezuela, in return for the supply of security and medical personnel?

  13. Candidly, comrades, socialist regimes would definitely work if only the Great Satan Yanqui capitalist pigdogs would freely trade with them.

  14. She wants a scheme of making it illegal to not pick up hitchhiker’s and give them a token for their troubles to help cut emissions

    Imagine the level of intrusive surveillance that would be required to make that not be immediately gamed to breaking point by fraudsters.

    A feature, not a bug.

  15. Nothing says “contented and co-operative society” quite like a communist government forcing you to do something by law and a widespread and effective culture of informing and surveillance.

    Anyway, this near-worthless ‘token’ of appreciation which “helps to pay for the petrol” – does it help to pay for car tax, insurance, buying the car in the first place, maintenance of the car?

    In an astounding co-incidence, a Lefty ‘bright idea’ turns out to be the State enabling cheap lazy fuckers to leach off others, with criminal penalties for those citizens who object to being a free taxi service for strangers. Amazed!

  16. We already have an efficient service where people can ask for a lift from strangers and recompense them fully for their time and costs – they are called ‘taxis’.

  17. I have an idea, why not extend this into other areas? Instead of all citizens having to cook their own meals, and obviously destroying the planet, the government should make it illegal to refuse any stranger who knocks on your door and asks to join you for dinner. They can purchase a “token” which can go towards “paying for the cost of the ingredients”.

  18. @ John77
    I don’t know really, it depends on her definition of “many years ago”. The agreement with Venezuela was signed in 2000, and from 2007 onward imports from Venezuela have averaged around 100K barrels/day. This is about 2/3 of Cuba’s requirements and the balance was largely from their own resources.
    Dear old Fidel gave up the presidency in 2008, but didn’t die until 2016, at around which time the oil supply started to falter as Maduro finally stuffed the Venezuelan industry.
    Whatever, the Americans were no friends of the Cubans and I’m sure they did what they could to make life awkward.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    In an astounding co-incidence, a Lefty ‘bright idea’ turns out to be the State enabling cheap lazy fuckers to leach off others, with criminal penalties for those citizens who object to being a free taxi service for strangers. Amazed!

    “Daddy, if socialism doesn’t work, why do people saying they want it?”

    “Because they don’t work”.

  20. @ John Davis
    OK, it does depend
    But I didn’t know Trolls “One, two, three, many, many-one, …” wrote for the Grauniad.
    To me “many” means more than “several” which is more than “half-a-dozen” or “a few” which is more than “two or three” so it’s got well into double figures (generally I use “many” to be more than “dozens” but I accept that some others do not)..

  21. Perhaps we could expand it to include all underused resources in the economy.

    Got a room you don’t use? Fine you for not making it available to others. Got more than one car, fine you for over consumption.

  22. Bloke in Lower Hutt

    David Moore – “Got a room you don’t use? Fine you for not making it available to others”

    I fear the UK gov is already ahead of you on that one, it was called the bedroom tax and cost Treasona May the last GE.

  23. Bloke in Lower Hutt, please do tell how many people paid the bedroom tax and the amount received by HM Treasury?

  24. Notice that the art’s graduate said ‘blockade’, not ’embargo’.

    Of course, we don’t have a blockade . . .

  25. Also, we already have those ‘token[s] which they gave to the driver who redeemed it to help to pay for the petrol.’

    We just call it ‘money’.

    Ass, cash, or grass, no one rides for free.

  26. “Henry Crun
    October 3, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Bloke in Lower Hutt, please do tell how many people paid the bedroom tax and the amount received by HM Treasury?”

    Pretty much no one and pretty much nothing – and it still pretty much cost her the election with pretty much nothing to show for it.

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