Blackout causes new protest in Cuba after the great fire in Matanzas
(CNN Spanish) — A new widespread blackout in Cuba sparked demonstrations against the government on Thursday night and Friday morning in the municipality of Nuevitas, in the east of the country, in the first registered protest since the massive fire at the Matanzas fuel facilities. , which destroyed part of the main oil storage center on the island.
Some videos published on social networks showed several people in the streets with flashlights and cell phones chanting slogans against the government of President Miguel Díaz-Canel and demanding that electricity be restored.
This Friday, through a video published on the Facebook page of the Provincial Government in Camagüey, where Nuevitas is located, the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Roberto Conde Silverio, confirmed the mobilization and said that “several citizens” took to the streets “to incite our people to demand electricity and they began to shout offenses against some leaders of the revolution and disturbed public order.”
According to the leader, slogans in favor of the government were also shouted at the same march.
Conde Silverio’s statements took place in what the Camagüey authorities classified as an “act of patriotic reaffirmation”, which included a march of people in favor of the Government and a cultural act, according to photos and videos published on the Facebook profile of the government of that province.
Neither the leader nor on social networks explained what had happened after the protest or with those who had participated.
Similar demonstrations in the past have ended after power was restored.
The protest in Nuevitas took place amid power generation failures that occurred on Thursday, the Cuban Electric Union (UNE) reported in a statement.
According to the company, the lack of power was due to breakdowns in several generating units.
The demonstration is also the first public show of discontent in Cuba after a fire in early August destroyed 40% of the country’s main fuel storage structure, an incident that is likely to worsen blackouts on the island, according to reports. said local authorities.
This is in addition to the fact that Cuba’s electrical infrastructure is many years old and has not been properly maintained, leading to recurring widespread blackouts dating back to the 1990s.
Thursday’s protest in Nuevitas also adds to other displays of discontent that have taken place in recent months in other locations.
Last July, a blackout caused a demonstration in Los Palacios, in the province of Pinar del Río. A month earlier, another incident caused rejection at the state university in the same province of Camagüey.