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realclearworld

Video from a gas station fire in Santiago de Cuba

In this video acquired by UNPACU (follow them on YouTube here), onlookers in Santiago de Cuba rush toward a damaged gas pump to collect whatever gasoline they can sell on the black market. As the video notes, just a liter of gasoline can sell for about 20 Cuban pesos (not CUC, but the regular currency) — about a day's wages for your average Cuban professional.

Eventually, the party ends and the entire gas station catches fire, hospitalizing several people.

According to the text added to this video by UNPACU, authorities and state media are reporting that there were no deaths in this fire, but locals say there were.

It's not clear why the government would see fit to lie about whether there were deaths (it does seem like the fire started accidentally). If anything, it might be that onlookers can be heard yelling at firefighters to inform them of screams coming from inside the flames — something the firefighters, who were standing much closer to the blaze, should have been able to hear themselves.

Part 1

Part 2

I try to avoid engaging in or provoking conspiracy theories, but I find it worth noting that, in this video, the fire seems to start right as a police cars arrives on the scene. Maybe it means something. Maybe it doesn't.

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