The fuel price increase of more than 400% will take effect tomorrow, March 1, in Cuba, with a delay of one month, the island’s government announced.

“From March 1, the measure to harmonize the retail price of fuel will come into force,” Finance and Prices Minister Vladimir Regeiro was quoted as saying by state-run newspaper Granma on its website.

Regeiro also confirmed that there will be a 25% increase in the price of electricity for large consumptions. These decisions are part of the measures announced in December with the aim of reducing the country’s fiscal deficit. The gasoline price hike was due to take effect on February 1, and long lines were forming at Havana gas stations by January. At the end of January, the authorities announced that the implementation of the measure was postponed indefinitely, citing “a cyber security incident in the information systems”.

A few days later, the Minister of Economy, Alejandro Hill, was removed from his duties.

Based on the decision, the price of regular gasoline will increase from 25 Cuban pesos (20 cents on the dollar) per liter to 132 pesos (1.10 dollars), i.e. it will increase fivefold (+428%). The price of super will go from 30 pesos (25 cents) to 156 pesos (1.30 dollars), a 420% increase.

Cuba has two official exchange rates, one for individuals where one dollar is equal to 120 pesos and one for corporate banking where the dollar is equal to 24 pesos.

However, it should be noted that the price of fuel for transport professionals will remain at current levels. The increase in the price of natural gas was also postponed.

At the end of December, the government admitted that it cannot continue to sell fuel at subsidized prices, while the country, due to the American embargo, is facing a liquidity problem. The island of 11 million people is experiencing its worst economic crisis in 30 years, as a result of the pandemic, US sanctions and the structural weaknesses of its economy. GDP fell by 2% in 2023 and inflation reached 30%, according to the government.