Cuba adopts "extreme measures" to avoid blackouts
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- Science and Technology
- Business and Economy
- Politics and Government
- 11 / 28 / 2009
"The energy situation we face is critical and if we do not adopt extreme measures we will have to revert to planned blackouts affecting the population," said a recently circulated memo from Cuba’s Council of Ministers directing state managers to keep
air conditioners off indefinitely, and shut down refrigerators not needed for food or medicine.
"Company directors will analyze the activities that will be stopped and others reduced, leaving only those that guarantee exports, substitution of imports and basic services for the population," reads a memo distributed to Cuba’s light manufacturing sector.
Such warnings are especially unnerving to Cubans who endured the worst years of the post-Soviet era, which Fidel Castro euphemistically dubbed “The Special Period.” When Moscow’s generous oil shipments to the island abruptly ceased, public transportation virtually shut down and Cubans sweated through summer blackouts lasting 12 hours or more.