Cuba will officially observe daylight saving time at midnight between Saturday and Sunday when the clocks will turn one hour ahead to 1am on March 16, 2008. Daylight saving time is used as a way to save energy by extending daylight, therefore reducing the need to use artificial lighting.
Supporters of Daylight Saving
Supporters of daylight saving time in Cuba believe that the extra hour of sunlight in the afternoon could counter for potential summer blackouts caused by power plant failures. Blackouts caused by power plant failures have occurred in Cuba’s recent past. In 2004 a thermoelectric power plant suffered a serious malfunction, causing a wave of blackouts of up to 12 hours each day. Other people, including expatriates, have expressed the need for the daylight saving time schedule to remain consistent each year.
Calls to Scrap Daylight Saving
Some Cubans see no benefit in daylight saving and have called for daylight saving time to be scrapped. Some people expressed discomfort with changing their body clocks in synchronization with the daylight saving hours. Others believed that the daylight saving changes did not help save energy. For example, in October 2007 an official from the Cuban Electric Union complained that energy consumption could increase as a result of daylight saving time.
During daylight saving time, Cuba is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the same as Eastern Daylight Time in the United States and Canada. Regardless of Cuba’s daylight saving plans in the future, the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base observes daylight saving time in synchronization with their Florida headquarters in the United States.
Daylight saving time was first introduced in Cuba in 1928 but it was not widely accepted until World War II. After the war, daylight saving time was no longer observed until 1965. In 2004 Cuba remained on daylight saving time until October 29, 2006. Cuba was in a perpetual state of daylight saving time during that period. After two years operating all year-round without changing from “summer” to "normal" time, Cuba decided to re-establish standard time on October 29, 2006. Cuba again observed daylight saving time in 2007 and plans to stick to the daylight saving time schedule in 2008.
Dates of Daylight Saving Time 1980–2008These are the dates Daylight Saving Time started and ended in Havana.
|Year||Start date||End date||Daylight duration|
|1980||Mar 16||Oct 12||30 weeks|
|1981||May 10||Oct 11||22 weeks|
|1982||May 9||Oct 10||22 weeks|
|1983||May 8||Oct 9||22 weeks|
|1984||May 6||Oct 14||23 weeks|
|1985||May 5||Oct 13||23 weeks|
|1986||Mar 16||Oct 12||30 weeks|
|1987||Mar 15||Oct 11||30 weeks|
|1988||Mar 20||Oct 9||29 weeks|
|1989||Mar 19||Oct 8||29 weeks|
|1990||Apr 1||Oct 14||28 weeks|
|1991||Apr 7||Oct 13||27 weeks|
|1992||Apr 5||Oct 11||27 weeks|
|1993||Apr 4||Oct 10||27 weeks|
|1994||Apr 3||Oct 9||27 weeks|
|1995||Apr 2||Oct 8||27 weeks|
|1996||Apr 7||Oct 6||26 weeks|
|1997||Apr 6||Oct 12||27 weeks|
|1998||Mar 29||Oct 25||30 weeks|
|1999||Mar 28||Oct 31||31 weeks|
|2000||Apr 2||Oct 29||30 weeks|
|2001||Apr 1||Oct 28||30 weeks|
|2002||Apr 7||Oct 27||29 weeks|
|2003||Apr 6||Oct 26||29 weeks|
|2004–2006||Sunday, March 28, 2004||Sunday, October 29, 2006||135 weeks|
|2007||Mar 11||Oct 28||33 weeks|
|2008||Mar 16||Oct 26||32 weeks|