In Camaguey, Cuba, Another Protest Against Blackouts While More Luxury Hotels are Announced

Protest in Nuevitas, Camagüey, this weekend. (Captura)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 1 August 2022 — Block 5 of the Nuevitas thermoelectric plant, in Camagüey, left the electrical system a few hours after it was incorporated. Official journalist Lázaro Manuel Alonso confirmed the news through his Facebook account and warned of the increase in the energy deficit that the new incident would entail.

“That unit synchronized last night,” recalled the reporter, who added that “they’re investigating why it happened.”

Unit 5 of Nuevitas, which had been out of service the previous days due to a breakdown, like unit 4 of the same plant, was synchronized on Saturday during peak hours, as announced by the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba. But the relative joy didn’t last even a day, and the 105 MW generated by that block are lost again.

For Sunday’s peak, the state company had predicted a 20% deficit in the generation, but the problem in Nuevitas worsened in the night, and the population took to the streets again. Several videos posted on Facebook record a protest in the city of Camagüey in which the slogan “turn on the power, pricks” that was born in the same province when the residents of the university campus exploded after more than 10 hours without electricity and hardly any water, was heard again.

Social networks are also serving as a thermometer to measure the state of a population more than tired of the power outages they have suffered this summer. “In Minas, Camagüey, the power has been off since before 5pm, and now there is nothing until dawn, with this heat and mosquitoes,” commented one user late at night.

“In Santa Cruz del Norte, Mayabeque, there was also a 6-hour blackout, but no one goes out to protest,” added another. “I am from Santiago de Cuba and my children are desperate and crying with the heat and mosquitoes,” said one mother. “The power has been off in Cienfuegos since this morning, for everyone,” claimed another. Messages come from all the provinces, and the discomfort is huge.

Meanwhile, in Camagüey itself where citizens cannot sleep, the reopening of the Valentín Cayo Cruz hotel, a luxury resort located in the north of the province, on an islet of just 26 square kilometers, has just been announced. The establishment, managed by the Spanish hotel company Iberostar, is receiving guests again with the arrival of the high season, on November 1.

The five-star hotel has 546 all-inclusive rooms and is for adults only. According to Radio Cadena Agramonte, the space “is part of the tourist development that is carried out in that important destination, and to contemporary design are added the recreational, cultural, gastronomic and sports proposals, always taking advantage of the benefits of the beach and the identity values of the island.”

The Ministry of Tourism has planned in the Jardines del Rey archipelago, to which Cayo Cruz belongs, the largest hotel project in the country, with more than 20,000 rooms, despite warnings from several economists about the pessimistic prospects of a sector that was, before the pandemic, Cuba’s third largest generator of foreign exchange after the sale of medical services — sending doctors abroad — and remittances.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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