Home > News > The current Cuban economic crisis. External causes

The current Cuban economic crisis. External causes

Feb 6 , 2023

Despite frequent assertions made by the ideological extremes in Cuba regarding the political-economic situation of the island, the reasons for the country’s economic crisis should by no means be summarized simply as the damage caused by the U.S. “blockade” or, as suggested by others, by the “communist regime”. Instead, there has been a series of circumstances causing the gradual and progressive decline of the country’s economy, and this has turned into a deep economic crisis

To better understand this situation, Opapeleo briefly outlines the main reasons – which according to renowned Cuban economists – have caused this crisis, which finds traces in the worst times of the Special Period (in Spanish: Período especial) of Cuba, 30 years ago. This period was a turning point after 1959 for Cuba, and nowadays, conditions resemble the ones that triggered the mass exodus that followed in those years.


External conditions of the economic crisis


During the mandate of former President Donald Trump, the sanctions imposed on Cuba every year by the U.S. government significantly increased. During this term, therelationship between the two countries took a noticeable step backwards, at the expense of the advances achieved during the rapprochement of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Among other measures implemented by the previous president was the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act (Ley del Embargo), which was suspended every six months by the former presidents of the United States.

This law entails the possibility to sue foreign companies exchanging goods seized by the Cuban government. During his term in office, Mr. Trump also limited the number of flights from the United States to Cuba, the number of remittances sent from the U.S. and shut down Western Union, which was the agency by which Cubans received these remittances. It is important to highlight measures with an impact on both Cuba’s policy and foreign relations worldwide, including the toughening of sanctions on foreign banks that perform direct transactions with Cuba.

These measures marked a strong blow to foreign investment in the country, evidenced by the retreat of some international companies of strategic importance to the country. The current U.S. President, Joe Biden, has not removed or eased most of the sanctions, the only ones he has lifted during his term in office are those related to remittances and the regularization of flights to Cuba.


Post-pandemic economic crisis conditions


The Covid-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented short-term effect on international tourism. The stress caused by the fear of infection and the drastic health impact it had over most of the world caused an all-out shutdown of air travel in many countries. As a result, there was a decrease in tourism, and during the worst times of the pandemic tourism was non-existent, causing a multi-million dollar economic disaster for a country highly dependent on this industry. This also reduced the entry of remittances, food and other goods that Cuban passengers would regularly bring into the country, for both sale and for use by their families.

Because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the escalation of the conflict, prices of products which Cuba constantly needs to import, i.e., wheat and oil, have skyrocketed. In addition, Cuba’s endorsement to the Eurasian nation has led to the country’s further isolation from the European Union and may have unexpected consequences for the current talks with President Biden.


About Us


Opapeleo is your agency for paperwork procedures 100% online or by phone. We are in Washington DC 150 meters away from the Cuban Consulate. We provide services of Extension and Cuban passport renewal, Legalisations, Powers of attorney of all kinds, Authorisation for minors to leave the country, DVT, Cuban visas, top-ups, requests for Cuban certificates, delivery of official documents and all kinds of procedures related to Cuba.

Most read

100% Online Cuban Passport Procedure

Save on photos and mail shipments. With Opapeleo, process your request remotely in minutes.

Email Opapeleo tramitación del pasaporte

Subscribe now to our Newsletter

Receive tips and news related to your Cuban passport.

You might also be interested…

Choose the service

Read each option carefully and select the one that interests you the most.

New Passport

If you never had it before, it’s gray, lost, or aired before 2010.

More info

Passport Renewal

Obtain a new passport presenting a blue or red passport that is about to expire or has already expired.

More info

Certificates issued in Cuba

Any Cuban can request any document or certificate issued in Cuba from any location worldwide

More info


Topup your phone quick and easy. Repeat your topups with a single click.

More info

HE-11 Entry Permit

If you left Cuba before January 1, 1971 you can apply for a HE-11 and enter Cuba with your American passport.

More info


Visa or Tourist Card for foreigners to travel to Cuba.

More info

Birth Certificate


More info

Legal Advice on all aspects of Cuban law

Receive personalised legal advice

More info


Legalization of different documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, etc.

More info

Temporary Travel Document

The temporary travel document is for traveling with a letter in lieu of a passport

More info


What our clients think about the services.
Opapaleo offers a variety of products and services to the Cuban and American communities
Share This
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.