After Hurricane Ian left Cuba in the dark, protestors took to the streets. Now the government is set to charge them for electricity.
The power went out in many provinces in Cuba last Sunday night and early Monday, and the government has made it clear that it won’t be charged for the bill. Instead, it is asking people to pay the full cost, which is estimated at CUC3.7 billion.
That is around $21,600.
Furious Cubans took to the streets the next day, blocking streets in many cities, forcing the government to send national guards in to restore order. As the national guard went about their work, some protestors used social media to point out a few discrepancies.
These protests are an important part of Cuba’s culture, and people are often more interested in their own problems than in the problems of the government. Here’s what they are doing in a few places that were hardest hit by the storm.
Cienfuegos is a small rural capital city in Oriente province, about 45 minutes from Havana.
The city is famous for the beaches in the area, and has a population of approximately 2,100 people. The average income is between $40 and $60 a month, with an unemployment rate of around 11 percent. Most of the city was destroyed by the cyclone.
“It was one of the worst hit areas. There are no houses left and more houses were damaged than destroyed,” a resident told VICE News.
In one of the neighborhoods, a group of residents built a makeshift structure to protect themselves from the elements. The roof is made from a tarp that was covered with the black plastic garbage bag that was thrown out of the government headquarters on the day of Hurricane Irma.
A woman is seen standing outside the makeshift structure, with her children running around her side.
“We have nothing,” said resident Maria Guevara. “I don’t know what