A hundred people protest in Santiago de Cuba for the blackouts

At least a hundred people demonstrated this Monday against the blackouts in Santiago de Cuba (east), the second largest city in the country.

The spontaneous protest, as Efe learned from sources on the scene, began around 2:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. GMT) and a strong police force was immediately activated.

The reason for the march was a power outage that began at dawn and that, some ten hours later, by the time people took to the streets, had still not been fixed.

According to independent media on the island, the protesters shouted slogans against the government, which they hold directly responsible for the blackout.

Sources consulted by Efe affirmed that the provincial governor of Santiago de Cuba, Beatriz Johnson, appeared at the scene to attend to the protesters.

Since March, the cuts have been intensifying on the island and in recent weeks there have been minor protests in various parts of the country with the blackouts as the reason.

In the last four months, the state Electric Union (UNE) has advanced power cuts in different areas almost daily. The company reported damage on 29 of the 31 days in July.

The UNE has announced a deficit that sometimes exceeds 20% of the maximum generation capacity during peak hours.

In some cases, the inhabitants of different provinces of the country have denounced in networks cuts of more than 10 hours a day.

The Government admitted that the island’s energy situation will not be solved in the short term and acknowledged that the problem is generating strong irritation in society.

“It hurts us, it upsets us that the population has to go through this situation,” said Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in his last speech to Parliament.

The president added: “Rest assured that no one puts the blackouts here to annoy anyone.”

This story was originally published on August 1, 2022 7:55 p.m.

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