It will be possible to import 10-horsepower engines in Cuba, which are not used to fish or to escape from the Island

It will be possible to import 10-horsepower engines in Cuba, which are not used to fish or to escape from the Island

After decades of demands from the fishing sector, which has seen its work diminished by the loss of large state fishing boats, excessive controls on private fishermen and the deterioration of boats due to lack of maintenance, the Government has authorized the importation of boat motors. It will only be, yes, up to ten horsepower.

The measure, announced this Thursday in the television program Round table, was the most prominent among many other changes in customs regulations.

Another of them is the increase in the amount of the value of duty-free imports, which goes from 2,000 pesos to 5,000, an increase that comes in a context of devaluation of the national currency and increase of the dollar in the Cuban informal market.

The import or export of foreign currency is set at only 5,000 MLC (freely convertible currency) without the need for declaration, half of what is allowed in most countries. Above that amount, the traveler needs a permit from the Central Bank that can take up to seven days to issue.

Customs has also eased the export of amateur works of art and the entry into the country of “pharmaceutical preparations that contain controlled substances for compliance with prescribed medical treatment and in the quantities that correspond to this purpose.”

The norm that allows the importation of food, cleaning products and medicines free of duty has not been repealed, although the authorities have not specified whether its term of validity will be extended again as it happened previously.

“They are going to allow those engines to be imported, because ten horsepower is like riding a bicycle in the sea, but there is still a long way to go before we can do our job”

Despite constituting a relaxation, the criticisms exceed the positive comments in the official digital sites. Most Internet users point to the lateness of the decision and the dire state of the fishing sector in a country where seafood has practically disappeared from family tables.

“If we want to fish, if we want to put fish on the Cuban table. Because we want to do it with proven one-cylinder engines that can’t last and only for very small boats with a very limited fishing area and catching capacity,” he lamented. Liusbel Pérez, a commentator on Cubadebate.

Adalberto Reyes, is 38 years old and lives in the fishing village of Caibarién in the province of Villa Clara. This Thursday’s news has come at a time “of crisis in the area” where he usually makes a living catching fish and shellfish. “Here most of the people have their boats stopped because they are already very deteriorated.”

“They are going to allow those engines to be imported, that ten horsepower is like riding a bicycle in the sea, but there is still a long way to go before we can do our job, he explains to 14ymedio. “Most of the boats are over forty years old, they are very small and do not allow constant work.”

“I think they don’t want people to have more powerful engines so they don’t organize trips out of the country, but what they are going to allow doesn’t help much so that we can contribute to feeding people. In this town it’s already easier to buy a can Russian sardine than a freshly caught snapper.

The sector, according to Reyes, is lacking in many supplies. “From nets, pita to fish, refrigerators to keep the fish later, everything is missing. Now there are people who can have the motor but the boat was already damaged years ago.”

Carriers and owners of motor vehicles have also shown their disagreement with the announcement that has not been accompanied by a similar measure for the importation of combustion engines for cars or motorcycles. Of the latter, so far it is only allowed to bring low-power electric.

“I wish they could review the importation of maritime engines and approve that of land engines since the majority of the Cuban people work on land and not in the water. In my opinion it would be more beneficial, more productive and would be more in line with the Cuban reality.” “, questioned another commentator from the official press.

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