People react as Amelia Calzadilla (not pictured) walks back home after attending a meeting at the municipal assembly in Havana, Cuba, June 13, 2022.
People react as Amelia Calzadilla (not pictured) walks back home after attending a meeting at the municipal assembly in Havana, Cuba, June 13, 2022. Reuters / ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI

A Cuban mother of three on Monday appeared before local officials in Havana after posting on social media a video of herself lambasting the Communist-run government for failing to resolve widespread shortages and rising costs on the island.

Amelia Calzadilla, a professional translator who attended the nearly three-hour meeting with her husband, declined to comment to reporters as she exited the municipal building in the humble Havana neighborhood of Cerro, saying she had to take care of her children.

In the video, posted live on Facebook last Friday, Calzadilla begins by holding up a white slip of paper she says is an electricity bill from July 2021. The bill has soared, she says shouting over her children in the background, because the municipality has yet to install gas in her apartment, despite 10 years of pleas.

She cooks for her family with electricity instead, but the price has soared and outages are frequent.

"My question is for the Cuban mother who gets up in the morning like me, worried they will cut off your electricity, not knowing what you will give your children for food at the end of the day after school...," Calzadilla says, growing increasingly angry over the 8 minute video.

"To you, I ask: how much more can you take? Because I can't take it anymore"

In the video, she clarifies her beef is not with municipal workers, but "with those above," blaming President Diaz Canel, his wife, Lis Cuesta, as well as the ministers of energy and foreign affairs for failing to fix the country?s deepening woes.

The tirade, an unusually direct and pointed outburst on an island where such reproaches are typically not tolerated, went viral shortly after publication. The original video was shared 14,000 times on Facebook and has been replicated across dozens of websites.

Several other Cuban mothers have since created videos citing similar problems.

The Cuban government did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Cuban state media on Saturday published a column by University of Havana researcher Ernesto Estevez-Rams that said the video was a "textbook example" of manipulation aimed at prompting a "social explosion."

"Let's not let them ... manipulate us according to a well-drawn political agenda," Estevez-Rams said in state-run news website CubaDebate. "This is a lab operation, nothing spontaneous behind it - the usual suspects."

Cuba is suffering from its deepest economic crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union, made worse by two years of coronavirus pandemic and tightened U.S. sanctions under former President Donald Trump.

Cubans wait for hours daily under the hot Caribbean sun for food, transport and fuel, and power outages have grown more frequent as summer approaches.

The festering crisis last July sparked the largest protests on the island since Fidel Castro?s 1959 revolution.

The government blamed the United States for stoking the unrest and sentenced nearly 300 protesters to jail sentences of up to 25 years on charges ranging from sedition to public disorder.