Friday, December 09, 2022

Diaz-Canel admits dissatisfaction over blackout in Cuba

HAVANA ( Associated Press) – President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday acknowledged the discontent of the Cuban population due to a prolonged blackout this season and described what is being done for the summer, including intense heat and reduced electricity consumption. Characteristic of peaks. ,

The power shortage coupled with prolonged cuts was the catalyst that led to the 11 and 12 July mobilizations last year, unusual protests without clear leadership that pushed popular demands and even politicians against the shortage of drugs and fuel. Ended with a demand for replacement. One person was killed and some demonstrations ended in vandalism.

“There is a state of logical restlessness in our population,” the president acknowledged in a one-hour special appearance on national television during prime night time, accompanied by the Minister of Energy and Mines, Livan Aronte, and a historic commander, Ramiro Valdés.

Diaz-Canel stressed that the main reasons for power cuts are breakdowns, problems due to lack of maintenance because the country does not have the necessary funding, and difficulties buying fuel, all linked to sanctions. Desperate to achieve a change in the political model in the states and on the island.

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Cuba has 13 thermoelectric plants, eight of which have been in service for more than 30 years and five are modern floating plants that have been rented from Turkey since 2019 so that the situation does not get worse.

Half of electricity generation depends on large thermoelectric plants on land—which operate with heavy, low-quality fuels extracted on the island—to which smaller producers powered by imported fuel oil are added, and only 6 % is achieved. through renewable energy.

According to the state-owned electric union, about 300 faults and breakdowns were reported at large plants a year, a condition that creates stress in the midst of a harsh tropical summer with scorching temperatures and intensely sunny days that affect populations. Is.

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On several occasions, experts have insisted that it is not a problem of installed capacity, as it is around 6,500 MW and the maximum registered demand exceeds 3,500 MW, but failures, unexpected breakdown of production blocks and funding shortfalls have jeopardized it. system.

Diaz-Canel, an engineer by training, stood in front of screens and graphs to show the population the difficulties, and assured that the problems would be solved gradually. Directors of the centers and other experts also presented their accounts.

In any case, the president assured that, with the “difficult situation”, it is in the interest of opposition groups to take advantage of the inconvenience.

“The country is also facing a communications war, which seeks to demoralize the people, further harass them and pit them against the revolution,” the president said, for which the island “is harassed by a pack that bets on the outbreak.”

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