Cuban citizens are expected to deal with blackouts of up to eight to 10 hours daily, outside the capital city of Havana. AFP

The Cuban government has warned its citizens of a significant increase in blackouts, caused by the lack of fuel, as the country grapples with food and medicine shortages.

Vicente de la O Levy, the energy and mining minister of the country, said in a national television broadcast Wednesday night that the country was not going to have the level of fuel that they had in previous months, Reuters reported.

Due to this, Cuban citizens are expected to deal with blackouts of up to eight to 10 hours daily, outside the capital city of Havana. The load shedding is expected to start in October.

The country has been dealing with blackouts and food shortages alongside medicine and fuel since the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuba's gross domestic product is less than 8%, while the production of goods is 40% less, according to the Cuban government, The Guardian reported.

While Cuba blames U.S. sanctions for this crisis, Washington said the Communist party in the country is responsible for the situation, adding that sanctions are made to restore democracy.

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called out the U.S. last week for keeping Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba was added to the list during former President Donald Trump's administration. However, after Joe Biden's administration took over in 2021, Cuba wasn't removed from the list.

The economic embargo against Cuba doesn't allow the country to trade or perform any commercial activities with the U.S.

The embargo has been enforced through various acts, including the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms–Burton Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.

Considering the recent announcement, the Cuban official did mention that the government was trying its best to secure fuel to provide energy throughout the country, without mentioning why the situation had deteriorated to this extent.

Cuba is facing several economic difficulties due to historical isolation and trade restrictions. The lack of investment in the country has also made the country rely on fossil fuels from Venezuela to generate energy.

The country's energy infrastructure is outdated, which often leads to breakdowns, causing blackouts in the country.

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