14ymedio, Havana, 13 August 2022 — This Friday night another popular protest took place in Cuba motivated by power outages, this time in the Güira de Melena municipality in the province of Artemisa. To the cry of “Turn on the current, dickhead!” and banging on pots and pans, dozens of residents from the El Pulguero area and the vicinity of Calle Real demonstrated against the blackouts.
“We were without electricity all afternoon, no one could cook or pump water during those hours,” Raudel Espinosa, a resident of the El Pulguero neighborhood, told 14ymedio. “People can’t take it anymore because every day they cut off our electricity, so first a few people starting banging on pans, but immediately more people joined.”
Espinosa details that the police arrived shortly after in the most central area of Güira de Melena, in the vicinity of Calle Real where a protest also took place. “They arrived asking who had participated in the protest but the people did not want to collaborate with them, rather they kept yelling at them to turn on the power,” he says.
Since the first demonstrations against the blackouts, on July 15, in Los Palacios (Pinar del Río), protests have been added throughout the island, which is suffering an unprecedented energy crisis. On August 5, the same day that the gigantic fire started at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, hundreds of people demonstrated in the Martí Park in Cienfuegos, demanding an end to the blackouts, which in some areas last up to 14 hours a day.
Added to the people’s complaints over the long daily blackouts is the severe economic crisis that the Island is suffering. But in addition, the protests not only occur at night but have moved into broad daylight, such as the one that occurred on August 1 in the Luis Dagnes neighborhood, of the Popular Council of Altamira, in Santiago de Cuba.
“What they do to us is an abuse. The whole night without electricity and the power went out again at 11 in the morning,” activist Aurora Sancho explained that day to 14ymedio.
Electricity shortages, however, are far from easing. The official media reported this Saturday morning that the current deficit is expected to be 717 MW, while the previous day it reached 1,155 MW. Using the usual euphemism in these cases, the authorities described the situation as “very complex.”
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