Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Cubans protest in Havana for 2nd night over lack of power

Robert Besser
05 Oct 2022, 14:10 GMT+10

HAVANA, Cuba: Three days after Hurricane Ian knocked out electricity throughout Cuba, protests broke out for a second night in Havana.

Further, according to foreign observers, Cuba has closed the internet in a bid to prevent protesters from communicating with each other.

A report by The Associated Press said Cubans were demonstrating in at least five locations throughout Havana or on its outskirts, including the Barreras and La Gallega, in which residents blocked streets with burning tires.

"The only thing I ask is that they restore the current for my children," said Masiel Pereira, a housewife, according to the Associated Press.

Cuba's 11 million people lost power on September 27 after Hurricane Ian struck western Cuba, causing an island-wide power outage.

While power was restored in some parts of the country by the following day, other areas had no power, including in Havana.

It was believed that only 10 percent of Havana's 2 million residents had power on September 29.

Also, both internet and mobile phone services remained out of service.

"Internet service has been interrupted once again in Cuba, at about the same time as yesterday," Alp Toker, director of London-based Netblocks, told the Associated Press.

"The timing of the outages provides another indication that these are a measure to suppress coverage of the protests," he added.

In July 2022 Cuba saw some of its largest-ever street protests. Primarily, the unrest was caused by those protesting constant power outages, as well as day-to-day shortages of goods.

Cuba's power grid "was already in a critical and immunocompromised state as a result of the deterioration of the thermoelectric plants. The patient is now on life support," said Jorge Pinon, director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy's Latin America and Caribbean program at the University of Texas, according to the Associated Press.

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