‘Liars!’ Matanzas Residents Shout to Officials Over the Lack of Electricity

The town of Carlos Rojas, in Matanzas, has a population of approximately 6,000 inhabitants. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 November 2020 — Shouting “Liars!” the residents of the town of Carlos Rojas, in Matanzas, summoned various officials and soldiers during a protest to demand the restoration of the electricity service, after the supply was interrupted or several hours during the day this Friday.

In a video posted on social media, dozens of people are seen surrounding various officials, including one dressed in a military uniform, to demand the restoration of electricity service. “We are tired of lies,” warns the activist and Lady in White, Sissi Abascal Zamora, to one of the directors.

The woman details that “they are always telling lies. The other time we had an outage they came to say that it had been a transformer and it was a lie, it was a power pole that had fallen and the repair car did not even want to enter,” she argues and shouts of approval for her words are heard from the other residents.

In the images, taken in the dark and only visible thanks to the light emitted by mobile phones, the officials appear confused and overwhelmed by the avalanche of complaints and criticism of their management.

The town of Carlos Rojas has a population of approximately 6,000 inhabitants and is located on the highway that connects the city of Cárdenas with the municipality of Jovellanos.

A few hours after the video was released, the Lady in White Leticia Ramos Herrería denounced that the secretary of the Jovellanos Communist Party threatened to ’make disappear’ Abascal Zamora for filming the protests. By that time, the images had already been widely disseminated through social media and instant messaging services.

In recent years, there have been several demonstrations led by residents of Carlos Rojas to demand improvements to the electricity service. In September 2017 and after the passage of Hurricane Irma, the residents of the town took to the streets demanding the repair of the power lines and a supply of food.

The three-year-old protest was led by the government opponent Armando Abascal, a member of the Pedro Luis Boitel Democracy Party, and was joined by dozens of residents of the town.

The name of the town is a tribute to the pro-independence general Carlos María Rojas Cruzat, who during the republican period was elected mayor of Cárdenas. The community has traditionally dedicated itself to the cultivation of sugarcane and livestock, so in recent years it has been greatly affected by the decline of the sugar industry on the island.

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