Havana, Cuba (CNN)For Cubans, the heat is on and the power could go out any moment.Enduring broiling-hot summer temperatures and a short-circuiting electrical grid has long been part of life in Cuba but now the island is dealing with severe fuel shortages, failing power plants and widespread blackouts that are testing even the most patient.
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The energy crisis is of particular concern for government officials after last year’s widespread protests, the largest since the Cuban revolution, which first began after residents got fed up with rolling blackouts and took to the streets.
Last week people in the Western town of Los Palacios angrily banged pots and pans in a “cacerolazo” to protest a nighttime black out. Residents reported that the internet service was cut for several hours and that local officials eventually managed to calm down the protestors. At least for the time being.
“Cuba feels like a powder keg that could blow up on any corner,” said Miguel, who lives in the same province where the most recent protests took place. He asked that his full name not be used for fear of retribution.