Cubans in Matanzas and Villa Clara took to the streets this Friday night to protest the continuous blackouts that have kept the country in suspense for several months.
According to reports on social networks, the demonstrations took place around dawn in the towns of Jagüey Grande, in the province of Matanzas, Sagua la Grande and Caibarién, in Villa Clara.
In the popular council of Australia and in the city of Jagüey Grande, in the municipality of the same name, dozens of people took to the streets demanding “freedom” and shouting “turn on the power”.
“I get these videos from various places. Jagüey Grande, Matanzas, on the street right now!” activist Yamilka Laffita wrote on her Facebook profile alongside her pictures.
In Villa Clara, on the other hand, popular protests were also registered at night from Thursday to Friday. Residents of the cities of Sagua la Grande and Caibarién took to the streets to protest the blackouts.
“If the government doesn’t let the people sleep, they shouldn’t sleep either!”, is heard in one of the videos of the protest in Caibarién, published by the user Vilma Albuerne Noa.
The user used her Facebook in another broadcast to report that the power had been restored minutes after the demonstration.
The dissatisfaction of Cubans with the blackouts is growing in the midst of a serious economic crisis in the country, the summer heat and a recent health alert, also due to dengue.
Meanwhile, despite the claims, the situation shows no improvement, this Thursday the Electric Union of Cuba (UNE) more blackouts, both day and night.
In a publication on its Facebook profile, the state-owned company estimated a maximum impact of 680 MW during the daytime and 588 MW for the peak at night, and reported that “units six, seven and four were out of service due to breakdowns.” eight of the CTE Mariel thermoelectric plant, unit 4 of the CTE Cienfuegos, units four and five of the CTE Nuevitas, unit two of the CTE Felton and units three and six of the CTE Rente”.
On July 14, hundreds of Cubans in Los Palacios, Pinar del Río, took to the streets to protest the blackouts.
Several videos broadcast live on social networks showed a crowd crossing the streets of the town in the direction of the municipal headquarters of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) while they banged pots and chanted protest slogans.
In the recordings, the protesters could be heard shouting loudly “We are hungry!”, “Turn on the power!”, “Díaz-Canel singao!” and even “Down with the dictatorship!”.
On that occasion, shortly after 12:30 a.m. all live broadcasts originating from Los Palacios stopped, suggesting an alleged Internet connection outage by Cuba’s telecommunications monopoly, ETECSA.
Recently, the Minister of Energy and Mines, Liván Arronte, acknowledged that, despite President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s promise that repairs to Cuban thermoelectric plants would remedy the situation, the blackouts will continue indefinitely.