Are Routine Power Cuts Back in Cuba?

Yenisel Rodríguez Perez

Early morning in Havana. Foto: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – Power cuts that aren’t caused by maintenance or repair work are taking place in certain areas of the Cuban capital. The regularity and persistence of these blackouts (which have been occurring from one to two years now) makes one suspect the country continues to face problems in terms of energy availability.

The policy of misinformation vis-à-vis internal developments constantly applied by the Cuban government and its institutions prompts speculation and intensifies the distress of the inhabitants of the affected areas.

The most severely affected areas are those that enjoy a permanent gas supply service, something which supports the thesis that these power cuts are planned and not accidental or circumstantial. In many neighborhoods around Havana, electric stoves are used to cook, and this “protects” that population from such power cuts.

Cubans who are over 14 or 15 lived through an infernal period of power cuts that lasted from 12 to 24 hours and took place several times a week in the 1990s. In the summer months, people slept on the roofs of their houses, on terraces and even on the sidewalk.

No one wants to go back to those times and the government knows this well, which is why they have declared that energy is a national security issue. But mismanagement, corruption and geopolitical demagogy keep the risk of economic crisis and social catastrophes alive.

It seems the pressure cooker is beginning to break down as a result of energy shortages. For the time being, those responsible remain quiet and hope that the depoliticized nature of Cuban society and the lack of popular power will allow them to take the situation to its final consequences.

Yenisel Rodriguez

Yenisel Rodriguez Perez: I have lived in Cuba my entire life, except for several months in 2013 when I was in Miami with my father. Despite the 90 miles that separate Havana and Miami, I find profound reasons in both for political and community activism. My encounter with socio-cultural anthropology eight years ago prepared me for a commitment of love for cultural diversity.


9 thoughts on “Are Routine Power Cuts Back in Cuba?

  • August 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm
    Permalink

    Duh.

  • August 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm
    Permalink

    As a Cuban once said to me, the main difference between Fidel & Raul is that Raul’s speeches are shorter, and for that the Cuban people at grateful.

  • August 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm
    Permalink

    The Canadian corporation, Sherritt International, contracted to build and operate new & refurbished thermo-electric plants in Cuba, burning the thing heavy oil found in Cuba.

    So we can conclude from the increasing rate of blackouts that Sherritt is not all that successful in their task.

    What a surprise. Not.

  • August 8, 2014 at 5:51 am
    Permalink

    You’re right again. If you are defending your “prerogative” to endure blackouts based on being born Cuban, you will get no fight from me. If you want to get rid of electricity altogether in Cuba and live by candlelight again, that’s your prerogative too. Hahaha!

  • August 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm
    Permalink

    You are not cuban, it’s not your prerogative 😉

  • August 7, 2014 at 6:22 am
    Permalink

    That’s the spirit! As the rest of the world advances and moves to stable non-fossil fuel energy supplies, Cuba takes a huge step backwards. This blast from the past is largely owed to the flawed planning and overriding corruption of the Castro regime. And yet, brainwashed sycophants are still willing to drink the koolaid and go along with this Castro nonsense. Good luck in the dark.

  • August 7, 2014 at 12:32 am
    Permalink

    I grow up under apagones and it was all fine, we can do it again.

  • August 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm
    Permalink

    The great relief is that the power cuts eliminate the political pratings on TV and radio. For this relief President Raul, we thank you!

  • August 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm
    Permalink

    My in-laws in Guantanamo say that these “apagones” are occurring fairly regularly. Recently, while on the phone with my wife, the electricity went out and my mother-in-law’s wireless phone conked out because it works by electricity. She had to switch to a wired phone so that my wife could call her back while the power was off. The two of them then continued talking as if nothing happened. Cubans have just gotten used to these blackouts as a part of life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *