Hundreds of people gathered at dawn this Thursday at the corner of San Rafael and San Francisco, in Centro Habana. They were all part of the long queue waiting their turn to refuel at the nearby service center on Infanta Street.
They talked about many topics, but far from the idyllic image that the official press offered a few weeks ago, in a note that outraged Cubans and that they extolled the opportunity to “establish friendship bridges” in the eternal lines of the gas stations, they did so with a serious gesture and highlighting the daily vicissitudes that people suffer.
One’s motorcycle turned off and he regretted having to drag it to be able to stock up on the deposit, another complained about the situation with bread, the one from further on spoke of “Díaz-Canel’s lies on the news.” Many were silent, with a face of few friends; none of them protested aloud. However, people looked upset and there was some contained violence in the environment.
Watching them was a large operation of police and prevention brigades of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, something unprecedented for this type of queue.
As the authorities have done on other occasions when the shortage has multiplied the queues, the one at the San Rafael gas station was “spread out” in adjacent, less main streets, to hide the magnitude of the problem.
It is not the only “organizational measure” that the provincial government has taken in view of the May Day events, postponed to this Friday and in which many foreign guests are expected to participate. Havana Tribune echoes the suspension of the sale of fuel in six gas stations of El Vedado, from seven in the afternoon this Thursday until ten in the morning tomorrow.
The measure affects the service centers of 3rd and 12, Riviera, Tángana, Vista al Mar, Rampa and G and 25. The official note ensures: “Customers who are in these service centers will be guaranteed to maintain the same order of the queue as is held by the established records or lists, therefore, and for security reasons, the presence of vehicles parked in these places or their surroundings cannot exist during the aforementioned hours”.
“If that happens here in San Rafael, I don’t know what I would do, I’ve been here for two days already,” commented a desperate taxi driver, to which another responded: “Let’s see if the next social outbreak is started by the drivers.”
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