Saratoga Hotel (photo: @ConsulCubaUK Twitter)Saratoga Hotel (photo: @ConsulCubaUK Twitter)
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Rock around the Blockade extends its deepest sympathy to the families of victims in Cuba after an explosion at the Saratoga Hotel in Havana on 6 May, and wishes a speedy recovery to those hospitalised. The Department of Hospital Services of the Ministry of Public Health says that at least 26 people have died and 74 were injured. The emergency response is still underway at the time of writing and more bodies may be recovered.

The President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, stated that there is no indication the blast was a terrorist attack, but was the tragic result of a gas leak. The hotel was undergoing renovations and consequently was not as crowded as it might otherwise have been.

Cubans have shown their spirit of solidarity in the face of this tragedy, with local Committees for the Defence of the Revolution organising assistance at the site of the disaster and blood banks at capacity after a rush of donations to help treat the injured. We urge supporters of Cuba to renew their struggle against the US blockade to help strengthen Cuba's economic recovery, health services and disaster response.