Thousands protest against government in Cuba | free press


Havana (dpa) – For the first time in decades, large numbers of protesters against the socialist government took to the streets in Cuba. They turned against the economy of scarcity and oppression.

In the capital Havana and other cities, they chanted “Freedom, Liberty” and “We are not afraid,” as seen on videos posted on social media. Twitter users in Cuba reported that the demonstrations were violently broken up in the evening (local time).

The authoritarian government blamed the US-controlled provocateurs for the protests. The United States has pledged its support to the protesters.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel spoke on state television Monday about a historic day for the defense of the Cuban revolution of 1959. He blamed the US economic blockade on the flaws in the Caribbean state. Efforts were made on social media to manipulate emotions to create discontent and divide Cubans. Cuba demands that its sovereignty be respected, said Díaz-Canel, who also took over the leadership of the Communist Party (PCC) – the only authorized one in Cuba – from Raúl Castro in April.

“If they want to beat the revolution, they must go over our corpses,” he had said in a televised speech the night before. People took to the streets in defense of the revolution, the party newspaper ‘Granma’ tweeted Monday.

The people of Cuba demand basic rights, according to a report by US President Joe Biden, distributed by the White House. “These rights, including the right to peaceful protest and the right to freely decide one’s own future, must be respected. The United States is calling on the Cuban regime to listen to its people and serve their needs rather than enrich itself at this crucial moment.” Biden criticized the government’s “decades of repression.”

“I think it would be a grave mistake for the Cuban regime to interpret what is happening in dozens of places and cities on the island as the result or product of something the United States has done,” US Secretary of State Antony said. Flash. That would only show that the voices and will of the Cuban people are not being listened to. The oppression has been going on for far too long, the people are fed up.

In view of its proximity to the US, Russia warned against outside interference and attempts to destabilize the situation on the island “through destructive acts”. It is unacceptable to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, said Moscow Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Sakharova. “We are convinced that the Cuban authorities will take all necessary steps to restore social order in the interest of the citizens of the country within the framework of the constitution.”

There was also a demonstration on Sunday in the nearby American city of Miami, where many Cubans live in exile. Observers spoke of the largest demonstrations in Cuba in decades – at least since 1994. At that time, there was a serious economic crisis after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which caused Cuba’s foreign trade volume to collapse. With the help of the allied government in Venezuela and through tourism revenues, Cuba emerged from this “special period”.

Now Venezuela itself is in crisis and tourism has collapsed during the corona pandemic. In addition, the US under ex-President Donald Trump has tightened sanctions against Cuba. Most Cubans suffer on a daily basis from the consequences of the Cuban planned economy and the American economic embargo.

There are currently reports of drug and food shortages in Cuba. Power outages are increasing and getting longer. In addition, the number of infections with the coronavirus has increased significantly recently. In Cuba, vaccines are used with self-developed vaccines. There were a lot of posts on Twitter over the weekend with the identifier #SOSCuba.

Mass protests against the socialist government are rare. But lately, opposition artists of the so-called San Isidro movement repeatedly took people to the streets and also attracted international attention. Well-known musicians showed their solidarity with the movement with the song “Patria y Vida” (Fatherland and Life). Protesters are said to have shouted “Patria y Vida” on Sunday.