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LATIN AMERICA | 25-04-2024 11:33

Argentine firms refuse to refuel Cuban state airline’s planes

Cuba’s state airline announced Wednesday that it had been forced to cancel two flights to Argentina because fuel suppliers refused to supply the planes.

Cuba’s state airline announced Wednesday that it had been forced to cancel two flights to Argentina because fuel suppliers refused to supply the planes, citing US sanctions.

Cubana de Aviación’s refuelling problems were reported by the Communist island's state-run media reported Wednesday.

"Cubana de Aviación has been forced to cancel flights CU360/CU361 dated 23 and 24 April 2024," the company said in an undated statement published by Cuban state media on Wednesday.

The airline attributed this decision to "the abrupt refusal of the aviation fuel supply companies in the Republic of Argentina to provide service" to planes on its "authorised flights.”

The communication invokes "the blockade measures of the United States against Cuba," pointing out that the Argentine firms also refused to provide gasoline to other airlines contracted to transport Cubana de Aviación passengers.

The airline indicated that clients who must return to their country "will be protected to the extent that there are seats available" on airlines with connections from Cuba to Argentina. Those who have not started their journey will be reimbursed 100 percent of their ticket price.

Washington's sanctions against Cuba for more than six decades have included the companies that return to Cuba. However, it is unusual for gas stations to deny fuel to Cubana de Aviación’s flights, which also has routes to Madrid and Caracas, among others.  

The refusal of fuel comes almost a year after the Cuban airline resumed flights to Argentina under former president Alberto Fernández’s Peronist government.

Argentina has since shifted its geopolitical slant, with new President Javier Milei’s government declaring that its closest allies are now the United States and Israel.

The US sanctions, which intensified during Donald Trump’s 2017-2021 Presidency, have not been significantly relaxed by his successor Joe Biden. Cuba’s economic crisis, its worst in three decades, has since deepened.

 

– TIMES/AFP
 

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