Protest in Havana’s Santos Suarez Neighborhood

Yenisel Rodriguez

Foto: Facebook

HAVANA TIMES — After four days without electricity, hundreds of residents from the Santos Suarez neighborhood took to the street in protest on Thursday.

Government representatives were unsuccessful in their attempts to silence the protest, giving excuses to over 500 people. Protesters continued to shout slogans like “people have the power”, “lights, water and food”, “strike”.

Police units were mobilized. Dozens of black berets (special troops) and vehicles were deployed and headed towards to the protest.

To many people’s surprise, the protesters moved directly at the repressive unit, outraged when they saw that they were being dealt with as if they were criminals. The special forces withdrew in the face of everyone’s jeering.

Word began to spread that the protest would gain greater dimensions if electricity services weren’t reestablished by 6 PM.

Then, at 3 p.m., electricity was restored, but many people were still out on the street. Government representatives could take a deep breath and the police forces began to joke around with those people who were still waiting.

People are talking about a people’s victory and many infected with the enthusiasm that the direct use of neighborhood power transmits. Some people are beginning to call it the “Santos Suarez incident”.


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.

7 thoughts on “Protest in Havana’s Santos Suarez Neighborhood

  • Unlike you Nick, I do not see things in extremes. You speak of “catastrophe”, but that applies as evidenced, even more to communism than to extreme capitalism. Yes, I would like to see change in Cuba from communist repression to freedom of expression and multi-party elections. I think it highly likely that if such elections were held following a period providing opportunity for information and explanation to be available, that a government leaning more to the ‘left’ than to the the ‘right’ would be elected but it would be democratic.
    I think that it self evident that I have more faith in the good sense of the people of Cuba to be able to find their own solutions -if given the freedom so to do, than you.
    Cuba has in the last seventy years experienced the two extremes of first right wing and then communist dictatorship and the evils of both. But Nick, there is lots of room for moderate alternatives.
    Irma did not change or amend the politics of Cuba one whit.

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