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Cuba tells officials to reduce electricity consumption

A fisherman walks on the Malecon seawall where an oil tanker can be see in the background in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Washington has sanctioned Venezuela’s oil industry and shipping companies that move Venezuelan oil to Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA (AP) -- An official newspaper in Cuba reports that officials are restricting electricity use at a time the economy is being squeezed by a series of setbacks, including reduced fuel shipments from Venezuela and tighter U.S. sanctions.

The local Communist Party newspaper Invasor in Ciego de Avila province said Sunday that authorities across the island have been told to cut consumption to conserve fuel and avoid blackouts. It says a 10 percent cut is being imposed on Ciego de Avila itself. So far there haven't been reports of any widespread power outages.

The island has suffered shortages of some basic foods in recent weeks as the government copes with reduced aid from Venezuela, the end of a medical services deal with Brazil and poor performances in sectors including nickel, sugar and tourism.