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The Castro dictatorship admitted that there will be more blackouts throughout the day

The Cuban electricity company, controlled by Raúl and Alejandro Castro, predicted another day of blackouts for this Saturday during peak hours due to a 35% deficit in demand.

The Electric Union (UNE) reported that the service was affected throughout the day on Friday and this morning.

The report of the state company announced an availability of 2,216 megawatts (MW), a demand of 3,000 MW, with which the deficit will be 784 MW.

The UNE, which also calculates a maximum impact of 750 MW during daytime hours, indicated that it estimates that there will be outages for much of the day.

On the other hand, the company assured that the Antonio Guiteras Thermoelectric Power Plant, the main one in the country -and which is located near the area of ​​the fire in a crude oil deposit that is still active in the western city of Matanzas-, has not been affected .

Power outages – due to failures and breakages in old-fashioned thermoelectric plants, lack of fuel and scheduled maintenance – are becoming more frequent in the country.

Last year, blackouts were one of the reasons behind the protests on July 11, 2021, the largest in decades, according to analysts.

In recent days there have been several protests, mainly in small towns with prolonged blackouts, although they have also been registered in Santiago de Cuba and Havana.

Cuba relies heavily on foreign oil to produce energy (thermoelectric plants generate two-thirds of the electricity) and its main supplier, Venezuela, has notably reduced its shipments.

The blackouts reflect a deepening economic crisis. Soaring prices for food, fuel and shipping have exposed import dependency and vulnerabilities such as deteriorating infrastructure. The country’s economy declined 10.9% in 2020, recovering just 1.3% last year.

Cubans have endured more than two years of food and medicine shortages, long lines to buy scarce goods, high prices and transportation problems. The blackouts have only added to the frustration, prompting an exodus of more than 150,000 Cubans since October to the United States and other countries.

77 injured and 17 missing firefighters

At least 17 firefighters are missing during the attempt to put out the fire caused by the explosion of a fuel tank in Matanzas (western Cuba), the Presidency reported this Saturday. In addition, there are more than 70 wounded.

The affected crude oil deposits, with a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters, are located at the Supertanker Base in an industrial area of ​​Matanzas, near the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant, one of the largest in Cuba.

The fire is not yet controlled, according to official media.

According to state television, some families from Matanzas were evacuated in the neighborhoods of the city closest to the affected industrial area, due to the risk of the flames spreading.

A large column of thick black smoke extends from the scene of the incident and is already visible in Havana, a hundred kilometers from there.

The fire started on Friday around 7:00 p.m. local time (23:00 GMT) when lightning struck one of the base’s eight crude oil tanks.

Then a fire broke out that affected a warehouse and that at first seemed controlled, according to official media on the island.

However, the strong wind made the extinction work difficult and carried the flames to a second tank and, around 7:00 local time on Saturday (11:00 GMT), caused a new large explosion in another tank.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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