HAVANA TIMES – Cuba has a long history of blackouts. Dating from the 1960s right up until our present day.
When I was a little girl, blackouts were so common that nobody used to question them. Back then, my mother would sit in the doorway and begin to sing. My brothers and sisters and I would huddle around her and sing too. We used to sing lots of Cuban songs, especially Boleros, until we would get sleepy and go to bed. We would get under the mosquito net and, dying of heat, fall asleep.
During that time, the electricity going “on and off” killed my mother’s fridge and an old TV that we couldn’t replace until we were all much older. I have never understood the reason for cutting the electricity and putting it back on several times, one after the other. Something that still happens.
While blackouts didn’t completely disappear in the ‘80s, the situation did get a lot better.
I don’t need to say anything about the ‘90s… we had so few hours with light that instead of blackouts, we had alumbrones (flashes of light). Then, I didn’t know whether we couldn’t sleep because of the summer heat, or climate change, but it was unbearable.