Outrage in Various Cuban Localities Over Inhumane Blackouts

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Ethan Navarro

Outrage in Various Cuban Localities Over Inhumane Blackouts
Vecinos de Jagüey Grande protestan durante un apagón en octubre de 2022 (imagen de archivo) - Imagen de © Captura de video Facebook / Actualidad Noticia

Expressions of intense discontent are sweeping through the social media of Cubans, who report frequent and prolonged blackouts throughout the day and denounce the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba (UNE) for what they consider an abuse of the population. Particularly strong protests are emerging in some localities suffering power cuts of up to 16 hours or more, which they believe are orchestrated by authorities indifferent to the suffering of Cuban families.

Local Outrage in Jagüey Grande

In Jagüey Grande, Matanzas, several residents voiced their frustration on Monday in the Facebook group 'Yo amo Jagüey' about the electricity cuts affecting them. "Can someone tell me how long this nightmare will last?" one user asked in the group. "The only luck is that there's not much in the refrigerators to spoil. The water doesn't go bad," another noted sarcastically. "I wish someone could explain what's happening in Jagüey Grande. If Cuba had a deficit of 750 MW during peak hours, why has Jagüey been in blackout all night?" inquired another user.

According to their post, on Monday, some residents of Jagüey Grande had electricity for nearly two hours during the day. By 8 pm, they were back in a blackout that lasted into the early hours. "It's clear that those who protest and take to the streets are respected. Maceo said: Freedom is not begged for; it is conquered with the edge of the machete. That's what those who have earned respect have done. We, meanwhile, cry quietly in the corners," one resident concluded indignantly.

Similar Struggles in Cienfuegos

In Cienfuegos, the day was no different. On Monday, residents experienced a day of blackouts that also left them with electricity for only two hours, according to social media reports. "Two hours of electricity in all of Cienfuegos! Until when, people? Sitting in front of the government is not a crime. For a change now!" said the administrator of the Facebook group 'Molinos'.

Comments on these posts showed the despair of many Cubans with this seemingly endless situation. According to many, the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel is leading the country toward a failed state, while inflation, poverty, and inequality spiral out of control.

In early October 2022, residents of Jagüey Grande protested against the blackouts and the government's handling of the crisis. The gathering of people in this city of over 60,000 inhabitants centered around the municipal government headquarters, demanding answers from local leaders.

In mid-March, a young man broke the windows of a provincial government car in Cienfuegos as a protest against the prolonged blackouts in the city. Eric Luis Acea Quevedo arrived with a machete at the provincial government headquarters in José Martí Park and attacked the government vehicle. For this action, the young man was fined more than 300,000 pesos for the damages.

FAQs on Cuban Blackouts and Protests

Here are some frequently asked questions about the current situation regarding blackouts and protests in Cuba.

Why are there frequent blackouts in Cuba?

The frequent blackouts in Cuba are primarily due to the country's aging infrastructure and the government's inability to manage and maintain the power grid effectively.

How long do these blackouts usually last?

Some localities experience power cuts of up to 16 hours or more, causing significant disruption to daily life.

What has been the public response to these blackouts?

Public response has been one of intense discontent, with people taking to social media to express their frustrations and, in some cases, staging protests.

What actions have been taken against protesters?

In some instances, protesters have faced fines or other penalties. For example, in Cienfuegos, a young man was fined over 300,000 pesos for damaging a government vehicle during a protest.

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