To the Cry of ‘The People Are Tired’ Nuevitas Registers Largest Protest in Cuba Since 11 July 2021

Massive night demonstration in the early hours of Friday in Nuevitas, Camagüey. (Captura/Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 August 2022 — Hundreds of people took to the streets early this Friday in Nuevitas, Camagüey, in a demonstration not seen in Cuba since July 11, 2021.

The protest, as seen in numerous videos shared on social networks, was massive, illuminated by the flashlight of cell phones and motorcycle headlights, and accompanied by banging on pots and pans, horns, clapping and shouted slogans.

Along with the cries calling for an end to the blackouts – “turn on the current, dickhead” — shouts of “freedom” and “homeland and life” also resonated. Some citizens yelled that irreverent slogan repeated on July 11 — “hey, you police dickhead” — and others, also like that Sunday last year, sang the national anthem at the top of their lungs and in unison.

“Díaz-Canel, singao*, the people are cansao*,” the Camagüeyans also chanted, thus adding a new slogan to the expression of popular discontent.

According to what resident of Nuevitas tell this newspaper, the demonstrators went to the headquarters of the local Communist Party, a building illuminated in the midst of the darkness of the power outage, crying out: “If they cut the power again, we will throw ourselves into the streets again,” “we want freedom” and the traditional “the people united, will never be defeated.”

The police arrived at the scene, says one of the participants in the protests, but “they practically couldn’t do anything, because this was a sea of people.” Immediately, he says, they turned on the power. “They’re scared of us,” he adds.

The demonstration in Nuevitas occurred shortly after the return of electricity to Havana, which was almost completely in the dark for two hours due to an alleged breakdown in a high voltage line, according to the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba.

Despite the indignation in Havana, only some residents of Luyanó banged on their pots and pans before power was returned.

Places are being added to the map of night protests over the blackouts, which the NGO Justicia 11J estimates at more than fifty since the scheduled power cuts began in mid-June, and for which, the legal platform said, there are about thirty people under arrest.

In Nuevitas, Luyanó, San Antonio de los Baños, Güira de Melena, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and Pinar del Río they know one thing well: if they protest, the light returns.

*Translator’s note: In English,”Díaz-Canel you motherfucker, the people are tired” loses the rhyme.  

Translated by Regina Anavy


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