As political violence in Venezuela rolls on, Cubans say they are hearing reports that Havana is making energy or military preparations for a possible disruption of its tight alliance with the South American nation.
Cuba’s stagnant economy depends overwhelmingly on Venezuelan subsidies estimated at well over $6 billion a year — even more than the former Soviet Union once provided to the Caribbean island.
“If something ugly happens in Venezuela, we are fried like in the Special Period,” said Havana teacher Yadiel Ramirez.
The end of Soviet subsidies in 1991 plunged Cuba into a brutal crisis, shrinking the economy by 33 percent and sparking widespread hunger.
Former top Cuban government economist Jesús “Marzo” Fernandez said close Cuban friends working in Venezuela for that country’s state-owned PDVSA oil company have told him Havana has prepared for a sudden stop in Venezuelan oil imports.