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Written by: Staff

HAVANA, June 12 (Reuters) The U S diplomatic mission in Havana has been without electricity for a week, an employee at the building said today, in what may be the start of a new crisis in always tense relations between the two countries.

''Yesterday marked a week since we have had electricity. We are using a generator,'' the employee said, asking that his name not be used.

He said the State Department was expected to issue a statement later in the day.

U S diplomats and Cuban officials were not immediately available for comment.

The U S mission was denied power even as Cuba declared an end to the daily blackouts that have wreaked havoc on peoples' lives and the economy since 1991. Parliament was told on Saturday that hundreds of generators have been linked to the energy grid under a $1 billion program.

Diplomatic relations were broken off soon after Cuba's 1959 revolution and U.S. sanctions were slapped on the Communist country. Interests Sections were established to handle consular and other activities in Washington and Havana in the late 1970s.


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