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Electricity Failures in Cuba
Thursday, July 21, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Remember after the end of the main shooting war in Iraq how the folks in Baghdad had problems with power? And the MSM and other folks squalled and howled about how terrible it all was?  Why aren't the same folks screaming about the lack of power in Cuba? How are the women supposed to use those rice cookers when there is no electricity?

Well, one big newspaper has an article on the problem today.  The Chicago Tribune headlines it "Lightless nights hint at dark days for Cuba's economy." The reporter visited the Havana working class neighborhood of Cerro and found folks sitting on stoops and standing in the streets to wait out yet another power blackout.

"Without electricity, we can't do anything," said a 49-year-old woman who asked not to be identified out of concern that it could trigger a reprisal from the government. "I don't know why they can't fix it."

While power outages have been common in Cuba for years, the duration of the current blackouts--some have lasted 12 hours or longer--has added to the difficulties of life in a nation where scratching out a living is a daily test of fortitude.

The article says the failure of castro to provide power calls into question his claims of economic growth.

"If they don't have the resources to take care of this, then the economic growth Cuban officials are boasting about doesn't match the reality on the ground," said Daniel Erickson, director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington policy group.

Hurricane Dennis has made the problem worse. And while the reporter writes from Havana, he notes the electrical problem is even worse outside the city. He says people have to sleep on roofs or in doorways to avoid heat. People are losing scare food due to lack of refrigeration.

The Conductor at Cuban American Pundits thinks something is about to break open in Cuba. Perhaps he's right.

Update - Mora has her always interesting take at Babalu.

Update - Jorge at The Real Cuba writes that Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello says there will be a march Friday morning at 10AM to protest detentions. He reports dissidents predicting a "social explosion" due to the critical conditions made worse by Hurricane Dennis. Read the whole thing.

(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren  

(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren