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


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