August 3, 2021

Unprecedented protests in Cuba against the government

Exasperated by the economic crisis, exasperated by the shortages and exhausted by the endless queues in front of the stalls of almost empty stores, thousands of Cubans demonstrated, Sunday, July 11, across the country, to the cries of ” Freedom ! “, “Down with the dictatorship! “And” We are not afraid! “. Faced with these historic mobilizations, the Cuban government said it was ready to defend the revolution ” no matter the cost “, while Washington has warned Havana against any use of violence.

Taken by surprise by this uprising, which broke out in several cities of the country including the capital, President Miguel Diaz-Canel called on his supporters to respond in the street. “The order to fight has been given. In the street the revolutionaries! “, launched, in a televised address, the president, who accused “The Cuban-American mafia” to be behind this uprising. “We call on all the revolutionaries in the country, all the communists, to go out into the streets where these provocations are going to occur, now and for the next few days. And to face them in a determined, firm and courageous manner ”, he added.

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In front of journalists, the Cuban president once again accused the American sanctions of being responsible for the crisis: “If you want the people to be better, lift the embargo first. “ Miguel Diaz-Canel, however, admitted that ” people [étaie]have not come to express their dissatisfaction “, speaking of “Disoriented revolutionaries”. More « [ils] so[nt] many, and [lui]the first to be ready to give their lives for this revolution ”, he assured.

Internet cut

The anti-government demonstrations started spontaneously in the morning, an extremely rare event in this country governed by the Communist Party (PCC, single party), where the only authorized gatherings are generally those of the party. The datajournalism site Inventory has identified at least 25 gatherings in different towns on the island. Most of them were broadcast live on social networks, in this country where the arrival of the mobile Internet, in December 2018, brought the demands of civil society to the public square in an unprecedented way. From midday, access to 3G was also cut in much of the country. It was not restored until mid-evening.

“Cuba is not yours! “, shouted in particular a crowd gathered in front of CCP offices. ” We are hungry “, “Homeland and life” and “Down with communism” were some of the other slogans chanted during this eventful day, the course of which prompted the president to go at midday to San Antonio de los Baños, a small town located five kilometers south of the capital, where the first rally was reported, before appearing on state television.

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