Cuba, aceite, apagones

Eating oil to light up: This is how a Holguin family mitigates the darkness

MIAMI, United States. – Due to the recurring blackouts that affect all of Cuba, a Holguin family began to use edible vegetable oil for lighting instead of oil or other fuels usually used for that purpose and that are lacking.

Cuban Wilmer Pérez Domínguez, a resident of the municipality of Antilla, Holguín, told CubaNet that the first thing that came to mind was to use cooking oil for lighting. “There is no fuel, there is no oil, there is no gasoline, there is nothing else,” she said.

However, for the oil he has to pay very high prices: in the informal market a liter of oil reaches 500 pesos in national currency.

“The needs that we currently have have led to taking the oil to eat and making lamps to light us,” he explained. “They say it’s the fault of the blockade, and I say it’s the fault of the government itself because we don’t have anything while in the stores in MLC there is everything,” she added.

“It is not easy to see yourself with a small child and not have anything to give birth to. Not a phone, not a flashlight…”, the interviewee also lamented.

Cubans are going through one of the worst energy crises since the so-called Special Period. The electricity generation deficit worsened in Cuba after the passage of Hurricane Ian at the end of September. In some parts of the country, electricity cuts reach up to 12 hours a day, according to the EFE news agency.

Blackouts due to breakages and faults in the obsolete Cuban thermoelectric plantslack of fuel and scheduled maintenance have been common for several months on the Island.

Although the Cuban government announced last month that it intends to reduce blackouts before the end of 2022 with repairs and new investments, the island’s outlook has not improved.

On the contrary, the lack of electricity has generated popular protests throughout the country. At the end of September and throughout October, cacerolazos were reported in dozens of towns on the island.

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