Things are Heating up in Guira de Melena Due to Power Outages, Heat and Dengue Fever

Güira de Melena has been experiencing protests for several days, since, last Friday, neighbors in El Pulguero and the central Calle Real demonstrated against the blackouts. (Captura)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 16 August 2022 — The neighbors of the municipality of Güira de Melena, in Artemisa, banged pot and pans again on Monday night in protest over the power cuts that prevent them from sleeping.

In a video broadcast on social networks, as usually happens in these cases, a woman is heard saying: “Corea launched,” referring to the neighborhood that protested this time. She says that the video was filmed on August 15, 2022 at “9:15 pm.”

“We’re sick of these blackouts,” “Homeland and life,” “We can’t take it anymore,” she also shouts behind the camera.

“It was quite punctual,” Raudel Espinosa, a resident of Güira de Melena, tells 14ymedio, reporting that the entire area has been without internet access since that moment. When the pans rang out this Monday in Corea, the neighbors had already been “hours and hours without electricity,” on one especially hot night, she says.

“People are very upset, not only because of the heat but also because of dengue fever,” which thrives in this kind of neighborhood.

Güira de Melena has been experiencing protests for several days, since, last Friday, neighbors in El Pulguero and the central Calle Real demonstrated against the blackouts.

It wasn’t the only demonstration on Monday on the Island, which suffers from an unprecedented energy and economic crisis. In Trinidad (Sancti Spíritus), according to several Facebook users, protestors attacked a bank branch. “Someone broke the windows of the bank on Colón Street in Trinidad with a hammer and got inside,” Carlos Sibello wrote.

Other comments alluded to the fact that the young man who broke the glass was being treated in the hospital, since he was “all beaten and bloody.”

“Last Thursday night, patience reached its limits in Bejucal, Mayabeque Province, where a neighbor in the municipality told this newspaper, “They shut down the power at eleven at night and turn it on at seven in the morning.”

Around midnight, several residents went out with their pots and pans to protest, and, says the same source, “at that moment they turned off the power, they shut down the Internet, they shut down everything, so that people couldn’t mobilize.”

“Some people passing by joined in, like a conga,” says the woman, “asking for freedom and that they turn on the power.”

The local officials, says this neighbor, sent people to “take videos of the demonstrators.” After the protests of July 11, 2021, it was these kinds of videos that allowed State Security to identify the protesters, arrest them and prosecute them, in manipulated trials that ended with disproportionate sentences.

So far, neither the Government nor the official press is reporting on the frequent protests that have occurred since mid-July, when the power outages happened every day. Two night protests against the blackouts took place this weekend in the neighborhood of El Condado, in Santa Clara, where neighbors took advantage of the darkness to demonstrate, shouting slogans and beating on pots and pans in front of the dreaded Fifth Unit of the Police of that city.

On July 15 and on August 1, the Luis Dagnes neighborhood of the Popular Council of Altamira, in Santiago de Cuba, went out on Los Palacios Street, in Pinar del Río.

On August 5, the same day that the gigantic fire began at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, hundreds of people demonstrated in Martí Park in Cienfuegos.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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