Protests in Havana over power failure after hurricane

Protests in Havana over power failure after hurricane

10/02/2022 08:14 (act 10/02/2022 08:14)

"ian" wreaked havoc and caused a power outage

“Ian” wreaked havoc and caused a power outage ©APA/AFP

Rare protests broke out in Cuba for the third day in a row amid a massive power outage following Hurricane Ian. On Saturday night (local time), some residents of the central district of Vedado set up a blockade with overturned garbage containers on the busy Línea street in the capital Havana. A few dozen participants demonstrated there, banging pots, because they had not had electricity or running water for five days.

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

“Ian” swept across the western Caribbean country on Tuesday as a Category 3-in-5 hurricane. destroyed. There was also a power outage across the country. Many people, including in areas of the capital, did not have power restored until Saturday. The water supply, which works through electric pumps, was also affected.

The Cuban power grid was already in poor condition before the storm, with frequent interruptions. These were also a trigger for anti-government demonstrations on July 11, 2021 – probably the biggest since the 1959 Cuban revolution. Hundreds of participants were sentenced to prison terms, some of them long.