Youth march in Havana, Cuba, for May Day. | Photo: Reuters
New York Times: Amid Grim Economic Forecasts, Cubans Fear a Return to Darker Times
MEXICO CITY — During the economic turmoil of the early 1990s, power cuts in Havana were so routine that residents called the few hours of daily electricity “lightouts.”
Now, grim economic forecasts; the crisis in its patron, Venezuela; and government warnings to save energy have stoked fears among Cubans of a return to the days when they used oil lamps to light their living rooms and walked or bicycled miles to work because there was no gasoline.
Addressing members of Parliament last week, Cuba’s economy minister, Marino Murillo, said the country would have to cut fuel consumption by nearly a third during the second half of the year and reduce state investments and imports. His comments, to a closed session, were published on Saturday by the state news media.
Cuba’s economy grew by just 1 percent in the first half of the year, compared with 4 percent last year, as export income and fuel supply to the island dropped, said Mr. Murillo.
“This has placed us in a tense economic situation,” he said.
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Update: Cuba introduces electricity rationing to avoid blackouts (CCTV).
WNU Editor: President Obama's actions on Cuba has change one thing .... the Cuban government can no longer blame U.S. imposed sanctions for the misery that they are living in. The onus is now on the Cuban government to open up and to take advantage of the new situation that President Obama has given them .... and this grim economic statement may be a sign that they are going to change (at least that is what I hoping for).