Communist-socialist Cuba was forced to cancel its annual May Day parade in Havana due to fuel shortages.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens, including those from small islands, are usually bussed into Havana’s Revolution Square to participate in the festivities, demonstrating their support for socialism and the ideals of the Cuban Revolution.
But with the country facing a major fuel shortage, multiple events are getting cancelled.
“There’s little work, as there’s little tourism, and you can’t work much since you have to save fuel,” said Yosvel Sosa Vargas, a tourist driver.
Long lines stretching more than one kilometre can be seen at gas stations, with some sleeping in their cars and waiting for days. Rationing is currently required, with tourists and truckers getting priority.
Local events are expected to proceed for May Day, where citizens can attend by foot.
The fuel shortage has gotten so bad that some universities have resorted to online classes.
Cuba’s fuel supply has become more tenuous in recent years. U.S. sanctions have made imports more complicated, and there has been a decline in both domestic production and refining.
Last month, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said the problem doesn’t have an immediate solution.
Cuba’s fuel supply is heavily reliant on Venezuela, which typically provides about half of the country’s fuel. However, due to Venezuela’s own fuel shortages, Cuba has been receiving fewer imports than usual.
Reuters also reports that the country’s largest power plant failed last month, leading to shortages at service stations nationwide.
Last summer, people in Panama blockaded highways over a fuel and food crisis many believe was caused by the government.
Additionally, Sri Lanka forced citizens to use a QR code to access gas pumps as part of a nationwide fuel rationing scheme.