Energy: Protests in Havana over power outage after hurricane

Rare protests have erupted in Cuba for the third day in a row amid a massive power outage following Hurricane Ian.

Energy: Protests in Havana over power outage after hurricane

Rare protests have erupted in Cuba for the third day in a row amid a massive power outage following Hurricane Ian. On Saturday evening (local time), some residents of the central district of Vedado erected a roadblock with overturned garbage containers on the busy Línea street in the capital Havana. A few dozen participants demonstrated there, banging pots, because they hadn't had electricity or running water for five days.

Military representatives of the socialist one-party state tried to appease the locals with assurances that work was being done to repair the lines. But they were shouted down with angry complaints about the state's slow work. Some demonstrators also called for "freedom". Later, opponents and supporters of the government shouted slogans at each other. Plainclothes police arrested at least one person. According to reports on social media, there were also protests in other parts of Havana.

Partly still power outage

"Ian" swept across the west of the Caribbean country on Tuesday as a category 3 out of 5 hurricane. There were floods, according to the government, thousands of houses and a large part of the infrastructure of the tobacco industry in the important growing region of Pinar del Río were destroyed. There was also a nationwide power outage. Many people, including in areas of the capital, had not had power restored by Saturday. The water supply, which works via electric pumps, was also affected.

Even before the storm, Cuba's power grid was in poor condition, with frequent outages. These were also a trigger for demonstrations against the government on July 11, 2021 - probably the largest since the Cuban revolution of 1959. Hundreds of participants were sentenced to prison terms, some of them long.

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