Neighbors take to the streets of Altamira in Santiago de Cuba to protest against the blackouts

A demonstration in the Luis Dagnes neighborhood, in the Altamira Popular Council, Santiago de Cuba, brought together several residents to protest the blackouts and the precarious economic situation in which the city lives. The concentration quickly provoked the presence of various military and public order forces, while the demonstrators shouted phrases against the Government.

“What they have with us is an abuse. The whole morning without electricity and the power went out again at 11 in the morning,” he explains to 14ymedio the activist Aurora Sancho. “It all started with a neighbor who started making noise with an iron and complaining. Little by little others joined him. Here people couldn’t take it anymore today.”

“They shouted slogans against Miguel Díaz-Canel, they also demanded that they turn on the current,” he adds. “Then they filled this with policemen, with red berets, and State Security also arrived.” Sancho’s home was surrounded “with two patrol cars” to prevent him from leaving. One of them was car 575, he points out.

Some residents of the area report that, during the protests, the provincial authorities of the People’s Power Assembly, headed by its president, Beatriz Johnson, began a “revolutionary harangue” to reassure the protesters.

“They brought Beatriz Johnson to make a speech and people shouted at her. And to applaud her they brought members of a Rapid Response Brigade. So far they have not returned our electricity service and this is still totally taken over by the police “. Sancho thinks that “finally the town woke up”.

Several images circulating on social networks record the presence at the scene of various patrols, police officers and high-ranking officials from the Ministry of the Interior.

“They entered the neighborhood wanting to repress, but the people were only demonstrating peacefully. They wanted to hit but the neighbors did not let them. They handcuffed a young man who was just watching the protest and when they were going to take him away, the people themselves protested with more force. and forced him to release him,” adds the activist.

The demonstrators improvised a conga with various slogans and “they even shouted slogans against Fidel Castro,” he says. Among the slogans they chanted were: “Enough already”, “Turn on the current, pinga”, “Díaz-Canel, singao”. The main focus of the protests was on Comancié street, between Castillo Duany and Piñeira, in the Luis Dagnes district.

"So they filled this place with policemen, with red berets, and State Security also arrived."says an activist.  (Courtesy)

In recent weeks, popular protests motivated by long power cuts have been frequent. In municipalities such as Jagüey Grande, in Matanzas, there have been up to two demonstrations of this type in less than a month.

Other places like Bauta, in Artemisa, Covadonga, in Cienfuegos and Nuevitas, in Camagüey, have also been the scene of hundreds of neighbors who have taken to the streets to stage a cacerolazo with anti-government slogans and demanding freedom.

The Popular Council of Altamira is located in one of the poorest areas of Santiago de Cuba. In recent years, these neighborhoods have experienced a constant police siege, given that some activists and opponents reside there, in addition to being the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu).


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