“Díaz-Canel pingao”, “We are hungry” and “Turn on the current”: the slogans of the new protests against the Cuban dictatorship

“Díaz-Canel pingao”, “We are hungry” and “Turn on the current”: the slogans of the new protests against the Cuban dictatorship

HAVANA, July 16th Residents of Los Palacios took to the streets on Thursday night due to a new power outage and internet outage. The protesters expressed their irritation with the Díaz-Canel government with different chants and banging on their cauldrons

Protests in Cuba due to power outages Cubans took to the streets in the middle of the night in an unusual cauldron protest in Los Palacios, a town in western Cuba, due to an electrical blackout, a local authority confirmed on Friday. It happened just four days after the anniversary of the anti-government protests on July 11, 2021.

In the early morning, videos circulated on social media, where the irritation of dozens of residents can be seen, some banging cauldrons and expressing their complaints to officials who were trying to calm the situation.

“Díaz-Canel pingao”, “We are hungry”, “Turn on the current, pinga!”, “We don’t want a tooth!” (mere words), and “Down with the dictatorship!”, are heard in the broadcast videos that people shout.

José Ramón Cabrera, president of the Municipal Assembly of Los Palacios in the province of Pinar del Río, explained that on Thursday night there was an affectation to a main electrical transmission line due to a strong storm.

People chat on the sidewalk during a blackout in Guanajay, Cuba (REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini)

“A group of comrades from our territory goes out to the streets with disagreement, a certain number of people and cauldrons and others gather together,” said Cabrera, in a video message published by the state news portal Cubadebate. “Due to inclement weather” the “municipality was affected by the main transmission line,” he added.

Cabrera pointed out that the authorities local Communist Party of Cuba (PCC-unico) came out to reassure the population. “We were inside them exchanging, we even hugged them, we put our hands up, transmitting confidence and we were explaining what the situation was,” he said.

The official assured that there was no aggression nor violence on the part of the demonstrators or the police and that at dawn everything returned to calm.

Some videos broadcast on networks could be seen until dawn in several parts due to the fact that during the night there was also an internet failure.

According to the independent media outlet Inventario, there was an “internet outage in #Cuba from 12:50 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. 40 a.m.”, in four municipalities of Havana and five provinces of the country, he said on his Twitter account.

In parallel, a lower concentration of presence and predominantly of women – in front of the PCC headquarters in the Havana municipality of Centro Habana.

Cuba has been facing difficulties since May in the supply of electricity to the country and reports daily on scheduled blackouts during times of greatest demand. Several of its thermoelectric plants have suffered breakdowns or are undergoing maintenance.

Weeks ago, another video was released showing protests by university students in the province of Camagüeyby the same reason.

Cuba is experiencing its worst economic crisis in three decades, with growing shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

It is unusual for anti-government demonstrations to take place in Cuba, especially after the protests of July 11 and 12, 2021, which left one dead, dozens injured and more than 1,300 detainees, of which more than 700 remain in jail, some with sentences of up to 25 years, according to the NGO Cubalex, based in Miami.

(With information from AFP and EFE)