Pot-banging protesters took to Cuba’s streets and balconies for a second night of impromptu demonstrations Friday, as much of the island remained in the dark due to widespread blackouts in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

“All the food is about to be lost” without power for his family’s refrigerator, said Yunior Velásquez.

“This isn’t working: Enough of this,” said Jorge Luis Cruz as he hammered on a pot lid outside his home in Havana — despite family members’ fears that his outrage could cause his arrest.

“Let them take me,” Cruz said.

Angry residents blocked streets with burning tires and garbage in at least two Havana districts, according to a report — and Internet service was extinguished across the island on Thursday and Friday in a blackout apparently unrelated to the power grid’s post-storm problems, experts said.

People shout slogans in a protest during a blackout in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Havana.
People shout slogans in a protest during a blackout in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Havana.
REUTERS
Angry residents blocked streets with burning tires and garbage in at least two Havana districts.
Angry residents blocked streets with burning tires and garbage in at least two Havana districts.
REUTERS

“The timing of the outages provides another indication that these are a measure to suppress coverage of the protests,” said Alp Toker of London-based Netblocks, a cybersecurity watchdog organization.

Ian slammed the Caribbean communist outpost early Tuesday as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds up to 125 miles per hour. By that evening, Cuba’s entire power grid had failed.

The lights were back on in about half of Havana’s neighborhoods by Friday, according to Luis Antonio Torres, head of the city’s Communist Party. But there was no official word on progress in the island’s rural areas.

Anti-government protests are uncommon in communist Cuba.
Anti-government protests are uncommon in communist Cuba.
AP
Protestors in Havana on Friday night.
Protestors in Havana on Friday night.
REUTERS

Banging pots, a time-honored protest method throughout Latin America, is rarely seen in totalitarian Cuba, where anti-government demonstrations are rare.

Street protests in 2021 — sparked by anger over high food prices and repeated power failures — resulted in a vicious crackdown by President Miguel Diaz-Canel and up to 1,000 arrests.

With Post Wires



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