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Havana announces energy rationing and cancels the carnival due to worsening of the crisis

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The capital cuban, Havanawill start in August with cuts of electricitycanceled the carnival and is taking other measures in the face of the country’s worsening energy crisis, state media reported on Saturday.

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The capital, home to a fifth of the population of 11.2 million and the center of Cuba’s economic activity, had been spared the daily blackouts of four hours or more that the rest of the island has suffered for months.

The rationing has sparked some small local protests this summer and a year ago in July fueled an unprecedented day of unrest in the country, when discontent boiled over.

For now, a schedule of power cuts will mean that all six of Havana’s municipalities will have rationing every three days during the midday rush hours, according to the local Communist Party daily Tribuna de la Habana, which reported on a meeting of authorities .

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The blackouts reflect a deepening economic crisis that began with tough new US sanctions on the island in 2019 and worsened with the pandemic that destroyed tourism and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Soaring prices for food, fuel and shipping have exposed import dependency and vulnerabilities such as deteriorating infrastructure. The country’s economy declined 10.9% in 2020, recovering just 1.3% last year.

Cubans have endured more than two years of food and medicine shortages, long lines to buy scarce goods, high prices and transportation problems. The blackouts have only added to the frustration, prompting an exodus of more than 150,000 Cubans since October to the United States and other countries.

“This is the time to stand in solidarity and contribute so that the rest of Cuba suffers less from undesirable blackouts,” Tribuna said, citing the leader of the Havana Communist Party, Luis Antonio Torres.

Source: Gestion

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