Thursday, July 01, 2004

Cuba: Bush's restrictions will bring freedom to Cuba

PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, June 25 (Rafael Ferro Salas, Abdala Press / - Cubans are reacting to frequent power outages by openly voicing their resentment of the ruling elite when they meet in the streets.

"Those of us at the bottom are the ones suffering," said one woman, who added, "I'm going to say this and I'm not afraid: the director of the power company is a fat cat whose name is Rolando Catalá. Do you know where he lives? In a place where the power never goes out. The other higher-ups live there too, near a factory that's never affected by blackouts. The big chiefs had a line run from there to the building where they live, and they're never without power. What a way to be a communist!

The woman was reacting to 14-plus-hour blackouts in the province of Pinar del Río. She pointed to an infant she was carrying: "Look at this child, how he looks, between the heat and the mosquito-bites. Where I live the power has been going out every day and I haven't slept in two days, trying to fan the mosquitoes away from him. And all for nothing, look at him, he's all mosquito-bite. To top it all, they won't tell us what the problem is. I think we are going through another Special Period and they are just afraid to tell us."

The woman was referring to the Special Period, the years after the collapse of the Soviet bloc left the Cuban economy in shambles.

A young woman stopped to say: "What's happening is they know things are getting tight for Chávez in Venezuela, and they are starting to save oil already. We are going to lose the Venezuelan crude, and that they can't tell the people."

"They are fooling the people," said a young man who works for a messenger service. "Nobody slept in my house last night. They cut the power at 5 p.m. and didn't reestablish it until 5 a.m. Then we had power for a few hours and off again it was."
Knock Cubans out of their comfort zone, maybe then they'll rise up against Castro

Are Cubanos willing to fight for freedom?


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