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Cubans protest in Havana for 2nd night time over lack of energy

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HAVANA — Teams of Cubans protested Friday night time within the streets of Havana for a second night time, decrying delays in totally restoring electrical energy three days after Hurricane Ian knocked out energy throughout the island.

A international monitoring group reported that Cuba’s web service shut down for the second time in two days, saying it gave the impression to be unrelated to issues from the storm however slightly an try to hold details about the demonstrations from spreading.

Related Press journalists noticed folks demonstrating in at the very least 5 spots within the metropolis or on its outskirts, together with the Barreras and La Gallega districts the place residents blocked streets with burning tires and rubbish.

Masiel Pereira, a housewife, mentioned that “the one factor I ask is that they restore the present for my kids.”

A neighbor, Yunior Velásquez, lamented that “all of the meals is about to be misplaced” as a result of there was no energy for fridges.

On Thursday night time, folks protested at two factors within the metropolis’s Cerro neighborhood. That space was largely calm Friday with the ability again on, though folks have been out on the necessary Villa Blanca Avenue chanting “We would like mild!” whereas banging pots with spoons. Police blocked entry to the road, however there have been no confrontations.

The nation of 11 million folks was plunged into darkness Tuesday night time, a couple of hours after Ian roared over western Cuba and triggered issues within the energy system that finally cascaded over the entire island.

Energy was restored in some elements of the nation the following day, however different areas have been left with out service, together with within the capital.

The federal government didn’t say what proportion of the general inhabitants remained with out electrical energy Friday, however electrical authorities mentioned solely 10% of Havana’s 2 million folks had energy as of late Thursday.

Web and cellphone service additionally have been out Thursday. Web service returned Friday morning, at the very least in some areas, however within the night it was interrupted once more, teams monitoring entry to the web reported.

Alp Toker, director of London-based Netblocks, mentioned the blackout in web service on Thursday and Friday appeared totally different from an web outage that occurred quickly after Ian hit.

“Web service has been interrupted as soon as once more in Cuba, at about the identical time as yesterday (Thursday),” Toker mentioned in an e-mail to AP on Friday night time. “The timing of the outages supplies one other indication that these are a measure to suppress protection of the protests.”

Doug Madory, director of web evaluation at Kentik Inc., a community intelligence firm, earlier described Thursday’s occasion as a “complete web blackout.”

Repeated blackouts on Cuba’s already fragile electrical grid have been among the many causes of the island’s largest social protests in a long time in July 2021. 1000’s of individuals, weary of energy failures and shortages of products exacerbated by the pandemic and U.S. sanctions, turned out in cities throughout the island to vent their anger and a few additionally lashed out on the authorities. Tons of have been arrested and prosecuted, prompting harsh criticism of the administration of President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Specialists mentioned the entire blackout confirmed the vulnerability of Cuba’s energy grid and warned that it’ll require time and sources — issues the nation doesn’t have — to repair the issue.

Cuba’s energy grid “was already in a essential and immunocompromised state on account of the deterioration of the thermoelectric crops. The affected person is now on life help,” mentioned Jorge Piñon, director of the Middle for Worldwide Power and Environmental Coverage’s Latin America and Caribbean program on the College of Texas.

Cuba has 13 energy era crops, eight of that are conventional thermoelectric crops, and 5 floating energy crops rented from Turkey since 2019. There’s additionally a bunch of small crops distributed all through the nation since an vitality reform in 2006.

However the crops are poorly maintained, a phenomenon the federal government attributed to the dearth of funds and U.S. sanctions. Issues in acquiring gas can be an issue.

Andrea Rodríguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP

Related Press author E. Eduardo Castillo contributed to this report from Mexico Metropolis.





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