Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021
News Every Day |

Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Cuba

July 12, 2021

By Marc Frank

HAVANA (Reuters) -Thousands of Cubans took to the streets from Havana to Santiago on Sunday in rarely seen protests, expressing frustration over economic conditions, the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations and what they said was government neglect.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who also heads the Communist Party, blamed the United States for the unrest in a nationally televised speech on Sunday afternoon.

Special forces jeeps, with machine guns mounted on the back, were seen in the capital, Havana, and Diaz-Canel called on supporters to confront “provocations.”

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Havana and along parts of the seaside drive amid a heavy police presence. There were a few arrests and scuffles.

A Reuters reporter witnessed police pepper spray a few protesters and hit others with batons, but there was no attempt to directly confront the thousands chanting “Freedom” as they gathered and marched in the city center. Their shouts of “Diaz- Canel step down” drowned out groups of government supporters chanting “Fidel.”

The protests broke out in San Antonio de los Banos municipality in Artemisa Province, bordering Havana, with video on social media showing hundreds of residents chanting anti-government slogans and demanding everything from coronavirus vaccines to an end of daily blackouts.

“I just walked through town looking to buy some food and there were lots of people there, some with signs, protesting,” local resident Claris Ramirez said by phone.

“They are protesting blackouts, that there is no medicine,” she added.

Diaz-Canel, who had just returned from San Antonio de los Banos, said many protesters were sincere but manipulated by U.S.-orchestrated social media campaigns and “mercenaries” on the ground, and warned that further “provocations” would not be tolerated.

There were protests later on Sunday hundreds of miles (km) to the east in Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, where social media video showed hundreds marching through the streets, again confirmed by a local resident.

“They are protesting the crisis, that there is no food or medicine, that you have to buy everything at the foreign currency stores, and on and on the list goes,” Claudia Perez said.

ECONOMIC CRISIS

“We are calling on all the revolutionaries in the country, all the Communists, to hit the streets wherever there is an effort to produce these provocations,” Diaz-Canel said in his broadcast remarks.

The Communist-run country has been experiencing a worsening economic crisis for two years, which the government blames mainly on U.S. sanctions and the pandemic, while its detractors cite incompetence and a Soviet-style one-party system.

A combination of sanctions, local inefficiencies and the pandemic has shut down tourism and slowed other foreign revenue flows in a country dependent on them to import the bulk of its food, fuel and inputs for agriculture and manufacturing.

The economy contracted 10.9% last year, and 2% through June of 2021.

There has been a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths this year, with a record 6,900 cases and 47 deaths reported on Saturday.

Cuba has two vaccines and has begun a mass vaccination campaign, with 1.7 million of its 11.2 million residents vaccinated to date and twice that many at various states of the three-shot process.

(Reporting by Marc Frank; Additional reporting by Sarah Marsh, Nelson Acosta and Reuters TV; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Cooney)





Read also

FIBA Asia Cup postponed to July 2022

High Coffee Drinking Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

15 Things You Didn’t Know About Joachim B Hansen





News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here
News Every Day

Cheese Market Revenue Growth Defined by Heightened Product Innovation