14ymedio, Havana, 13 October 2022 — La Ciénaga de Zapata [the Zapata Swamp] in Matanzas, considered one of the showcases of the Cuban regime, which considers the place an example of its achievements, starred in one of the noisiest protests on Wednesday night.
“Put on the light, dickhead, put on the light, fuckers!” they shouted in Playa Larga to the rhythm of banging on pots and pans in the middle of the streets, illuminated only by the flashlights of the phones.
In the videos shared on social networks, women and children are seen participating in the demonstration, in which the most projected cry was “freedom.” In several places they chanted “the people united will never be defeated,” while banging on pots and pans with sticks and spoons.
Residents in the Altamira neighborhood, in Santiago de Cuba, also went out to protest. There, people “are throwing themselves into the street, making noise and shouting at the Government to turn on the current,” a resident of the place told this newspaper. The man explained that the caceralozo [banging on pots and pans] began minutes after the electricity service was cut off, and that State Security agents and special troops arrived at the scene.
User Echezabal JD shared on Facebook several videos of protesters in the neighborhood, one of the poorest areas of Santiago de Cuba and the most besieged by the police. The headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) is located there, whose leader, José Daniel Ferrer, in prison without trial since July 11, 2021, announced on Tuesday a new hunger strike “until the final consequences.”
Also, the inhabitants of Velasco, in the province of Holguín, went out to demonstrate “strongly against the regime,” Eduardo Cardet, a resident of that town and coordinator of the opposition Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) reported to Radio Martí. “The protest grew by travelling along the main avenue, congregating in the park, and then continued advancing along the avenue to the Casa de la Cultura [House of Culture]. Then the reverse route was taken,” he said.
For Cardet, the demonstration in Velasco was “to demand the changes we need” because, he continued, “it’s time for this totalitarian regime to end.”
Users on social networks said that they also took to the streets in Colón (Matanzas).
The organization, which is compiling the places where there have been protests in response to the long power outages, registered, on Wednesday alone, seven of them.
Up to 153 demonstrations have been registered by Project Inventory throughout the Island since last July 14. However, they have become more numerous, and almost daily, since Hurricane Ian hit western Cuba and, for reasons not yet fully clarified, the National Electricity System collapsed.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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