More Blackouts, More Protests in Cuba

Where the recent protests have occurred. Illustration by DeFacto / El Toque

By Aleiny Sanchez Martínez (El Toque)

HAVANA TIMES – Since June 2022, several local protests have been reported on social networks, mainly due to the energy crisis that Cuba has been experiencing for months. The first of these demonstrations occurred at the Ignacio Agramonte University in Camagüey. The students protested the long hours of blackout and the scarcity of water.

On the night of June 14, the cry was born that would later inspire other protests on the island: “Turn on the power, pinga!” (Damn it!) Since then, the number of spontaneous demonstrations and pots and pans sounding has grown in the interior, as a result of daily and “programmed” power cuts in almost all provinces.

The Government, without an answer for citizens or solutions to the energy deficit, has opted for the time-worn discourse of unity and resistance. President Miguel Díaz-Canel told the last session of the National Assembly: “There are some people who, to express their discomfort and misunderstanding, hit pots and pans, shout expressions against the leaders, some take advantage of the occasion to say some slogan against the revolution […] Those who act in this way […] are doing what the counterrevolution wants and what those who have us blockaded want.”

On the sidelines, the government has implemented several measures to mitigate the crisis: cancellation of recreational activities during the summer, programming the blackouts, and a reduction to a minimum of workers in the workplace (teleworking, schedule adjustments, relocation); but it is insufficient, and discomfort grows. (It also contradicts the same government’s call to increase workplace production to confront shortages.)

Power cuts have been the main trigger for the protests, however, not the only one. Added to this claim is the dissatisfaction with the shortages of food and medicine.

The DeFacto team at El Toque has registered 25 protests to date in different provinces of the country. Between the night and early morning of August 1 and 2, the largest number of simultaneous demonstrations occurred. Here you can check the list. If you know of any other that we have not registered, leave us the information in the comments. Here are some of the reports.

6/14/2022 – University of Camagüey

Scholarship students at the “Ignacio Agramonte” University of Camagüey protested after spending more than 10 hours without electricity and without water. The university students expressed their discontent by banging pots and pans and shouting “Turn on the power, damn it!” The Alma Mater magazine described the event as “complaints” in the face of infrastructure problems and unfavorable conditions in the student residence.

6/15/2022 – Manzanillo, Granma

Residents of the Manzanillo municipality came out to protest after enduring more than 12 hours without electricity. The demonstrators banged pots and pans and shouted phrases like “Turn on the power, damn it!” The protest lasted about an hour and ended when power was restored.

7/14/2022 – Los Palacios, Pinar del Rio

Hundreds of people protested in the municipality of Los Palacios to demand the restoration of electricity after suffering a blackout of more than 12 hours. The demonstrators went out to demand answers in front of the Municipal Communist Party offices. There were shouts such as “The people are tired”, “Turn on the power, damn it”, “We are hungry” and “We do not want a lot of talk” were heard. In the following days, the local authorities tried to show an image of citizen tranquility and organized a series of recreational activities in the province.

7/15/2022 – Baracoa, Guantanamo

A group of Cubans protested on the Malecón de Baracoa, in the province of Guantánamo, according to the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights. During the demonstration, the police arrested Richard Sanchez Saname. In total, eight young people remain in preventive detention and await trial at the Combinado Sur de Guantánamo prison, for the crime of public disorder and incitement to commit a crime.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times

6 thoughts on “More Blackouts, More Protests in Cuba

  • The end is coming soon for this regime. The cracks are forming. The people aren’t afraid and are tired of worn out slogans. East Germany fell the same way and Cuba will too. You can’t keep people in some type of semi cage/ time warp tourist trap forever. They have no food , no water , and no power.

  • >I am in Gibara at the International Film Festival. No power outages. No shortage of Cristal. Just no shortages or problems at all.

    It reminds me of the government painting the front, but only the front, of all the houses the Pope would pass on the way in from the airport.

  • Mr Court with all your respect What part of incompetent dictatorship you understand?

  • Can’t they grow crops that produce biodiesel ? When I’ve been in the countryside there , it seems there’s a lot of acreage that remains fallow? Couldn’t they grow more food as well? I’m not sure what the soil conditions are, but I’m sure they’re acceptable…

  • To the street 63 of incompetent dictatorship is more that enough

  • I bet the governments hotels on the island don’t have power cuts. Of course blame the blockade as usual this excuse is played out, sorry government it’s your mismanagement and non investment on Infastructure that’s to blame. While your people suffer from hunger and basic requirements of living you build six star hotels to lined your pockets.

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