Parents in Cuba Speak Out: When Will This Psychological Torture End?

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 by Sophia Martinez

The inhumane blackouts plaguing Cubans, with power cuts lasting up to 20 hours a day in some areas, have become unbearable for many. People are taking to social media to criticize the regime, asking: "When will this psychological torture end?" For the eighth time in nine days, the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba (UNE) reported 24-hour blackouts on Tuesday, amidst the severe energy crisis gripping the country. This has forced many families, including children, to sleep on the streets in a futile attempt to get some rest during the night.

"Who explains to a child that they can't watch TV, that after a restless night and enduring more than 16 hours of blackout, they have to wake up to another blackout and go to school?" wrote activist Guelmi Abdul on Facebook. Abdul, who has previously highlighted the suffering of families living in extreme poverty in the country, voiced the widespread frustration of the Cuban population.

She continued, "Who explains to a bedridden, demented elderly person that they must endure the heat with temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius?" With prolonged blackouts and intense heat, days and nights on the island have become a nightmare. Abdul illustrated how this situation worsens for those living in high-rise buildings, who must climb 10 floors or more because elevators don't work during blackouts and have no water because the pumps depend on electricity.

In her anguish, she asked, "Who feels the pain of the people?" and questioned the government, "What do they intend? For people to die of heart attacks and strokes, driven crazier than they already are and without medicines? How long will this psychological torture on the people of Cuba last?" She ultimately blamed President Miguel Díaz-Canel for the regime's inability to resolve the current energy crisis: "While the president is living the sweet life, as if nothing is happening. Enough is enough!!!" she finally exclaimed.

Mother Yaily De Armas also joined the chorus of voices protesting on social media against the brutal blackouts afflicting the people. "Look at Cuban children sleeping on the porches of houses! Those who have porches, because those who don't are up all night, since it's unbearable to stay inside the houses," she said on Facebook. De Armas accompanied her post with a touching image of children sleeping on a house porch, stirring compassion in anyone who sees it.

"This is abuse; the blackouts last 8 hours or more, and then we have to go to school or work the next day. If they cut off the power all day, why do they cut it off again at night?" she explained, describing how the power cuts disrupt daily life, making it unbearable to live in the country.

A Cuban mother residing in Santiago de Cuba on Wednesday showed her frustration as her two children tried to sleep on the porch during an early morning blackout, the most difficult to endure in the unbearable energy crisis gripping the country. "We are here on the house porch because the children can't sleep due to the heat. It's three in the morning. They got up from their room to sleep here. They didn't go to school yesterday. Today they can't go to school either because, imagine, I'm not going to wake them up at 7 in the morning," the mother complained in a video shared on social media by journalist Yosmany Mayeta.

Far from finding a solution to the current energy crisis, the Cuban regime is expecting protests during the summer. "The United States is launching new attempts to 'heat up' the streets during the summer, taking advantage of the country's complex situation, according to the latest interests of its intelligence agencies to generate attacks against Cuba, in what they call Operation 11.7.24," said the Ministry of the Interior (Minint) on the social network X.

Understanding the Energy Crisis in Cuba

Given the severe energy crisis in Cuba, many questions arise. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

Why are there such long blackouts in Cuba?

Cuba is facing a severe energy crisis due to outdated infrastructure, lack of maintenance, and insufficient investment in the energy sector. These issues have been exacerbated by economic sanctions and the government's mismanagement.

How are Cuban families coping with the blackouts?

Many Cuban families are struggling to cope with the blackouts. Some are forced to sleep on the streets to escape the heat, while others are unable to perform daily tasks like cooking or studying. The situation is particularly dire for vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly.

What is the Cuban government's response to the crisis?

The Cuban government has done little to address the crisis effectively. Instead, it blames external factors such as U.S. sanctions and claims that foreign powers are attempting to destabilize the country. This has led to widespread frustration and protests among the populace.

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