After Days of Popular Demands, Official Mourning is Decreed in Cuba for the Victims of the Saratoga Hotel Explosion

The Government decreed national mourning after the discovery of victim number 45 was announced. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 12 May 2022 — On Thursday, almost a week after the explosion of the Saratoga hotel in Havana, the Cuban government decreed official mourning. It has done so just after the announcement of the discovery of the body of the last of the victims who were listed as missing in the explosion. There are a total of 45 dead.

“Due to the profound pain of our people in the face of the unfortunate accident that occurred at the Saratoga Hotel on May 6,” says a brief note in the official press, “and after the rescue and salvage actions have been completed,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel “agreed to declare an official mourning from 6:00 a.m. on May 13 until 12:00 p.m. on May 14.”

The authorities did not pronounce, however, a national mourning, which, in addition to the lowering of the flags to half-staff, would mean the suspension of all public shows and festive activities.

For days the pressure had grown on social networks for the authorities to decree the mourning. However, a decision of this nature could have included the cancellation of official events, notably the visit to the island of the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or at least a good part of his program.

The details and images of a dinner enlivened by an orchestra last Sunday at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana generated deep indignation. A smiling Miguel Díaz-Canel along with several officials from the Mexican delegation fueled the displeasure among the population.

The popular actor and humorist Ulises Toirac was one of those who reacted angrily to the images of the celebrations. “It goes beyond a lack of sensitivity and respect. It encompasses a lack of reason and shame. Celebration and bad music with 40 dead compatriots? Dozens of injured, many with scars for life? With the rescuers still working? With memory fresh? With people in mourning (without an order) and the world sending messages of condolence? Coño, but how fucked are we!” he wrote on his Facebook wall. In a short time, the publication exceeded half a thousand comments, most of them related to Toirac’s opinion.


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