HAVANA – Cubans took to the streets on Thursday night time to bang pots and protest throughout a number of neighborhoods in the capital Havana as the nation entered its third day of blackouts following Hurricane Ian.
The huge storm, now plowing north alongside the southeast coast of the United States, triggered Cuba’s grid to collapse earlier this week. It knocked out power to the whole island of 11 million folks, flattened houses, and obliterated agricultural fields.
For some Cubans, already reeling from shortages of meals, gasoline and drugs, the extended blackout was the final straw.
Jorge Luis Cruz, of Havana’s El Cerro neighborhood, stood in his doorway on Thursday night banging a metallic pot and shouting in anger. Dozens of others on aspect streets round his residence could possibly be heard banging pots from terraces and rooftops in the darkish.
“This isn’t working, enough of this,” stated Cruz. “All my food is rotten. Why? Because we don’t have electricity.”
Cruz stated his household didn’t need him to take to the road out of concern he can be hauled off to jail.
Protests on the road in communist-run Cuba are very uncommon. Last July 11, anti-government rallies, the largest since former Cuban chief Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, rocked the island.
Police arrested greater than 1,000 folks, in accordance to estimates from human rights teams, and a whole lot of protesters stay in jail, official figures present.
Reports on social media confirmed small protests all through Havana, and a few provinces, starting Thursday afternoon by means of early Friday morning.
Internet communications, by cellphone and landline, appeared to fall throughout Havana on Thursday simply earlier than 9 p.m. Communications remained down till round 3 a.m. on Friday.
It was not clear why communications had fallen.
In Havana, the pot-banging appeared to align with areas without electrical energy. Elsewhere in the metropolis, streets have been largely quiet.
Officials earlier on Thursday had introduced progress in restoring power to Havana, the place the lights have been again on in neighborhoods all through the capital. However, elements of the metropolis, outlying provinces in addition to huge swathes of western Cuba, nonetheless remained in the darkish.