Protests in Havana flare up as blackouts persist
News Desk || risingbd.com
Cubans protested in the streets of Havana for a second night late on Friday over continued blackouts across several neighborhoods, in some of the largest single rallies in the city since widespread anti-government demonstrations last July.
At least one of the protests in the western neighborhood of Playa swelled in size to several hundred people who chanted "turn on the lights," as well as anti-government slogans disparaging President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
At one point, the group began to chant for freedom, or "libertad," in Spanish, as protesters walked through a dark, densely populated neighborhood that has been without electricity since Hurricane Ian slammed into the island on Tuesday.
Reports on social media also showed smaller protests elsewhere in Havana on Friday evening. Protests, which remained peaceful, appeared confined to those places where power had not yet been restored.
Ian knocked out power to the entire country of 11 million when it plowed through western Cuba earlier this week. By mid-day Friday, officials said electricity had been restored to more than 60% of customers in Havana, a city of more than 2 million, but those still in the dark had grown increasingly anxious.
“It’s like being in hell,” said Carlos Felipe Garcia, who marched shirtless and covered in sweat. “That’s why we´re out on the street, and we´ll keep coming out.” _Agencies