A massive uprising broke out on Sunday against the Cuban communist government as the island’s citizens demanded the ending of the communist dictatorship that has caused them to suffer so much poverty while restricting their basic freedoms.
The New York Times called the event “astonishing” in light of the country’s reputation for harsh “crackdowns on dissent.” The report added that this is the first major protest since 1994, when the Maleconazo uprising against the communist government resulted in thousands of Cubans fleeing the country by sea.
The report notes that several online videos show the sudden disappearance of protest events. Chants by protesters include lines such as “We want freedom,” “Our children are dying of hunger,” and “We want vaccines.”
Senior Advisor from the EU Parliament, Alexandre Krauss tweeted the following.
Never seen images from #Havana. Thousands are mobilising across #Cuba demanding the end of the communist dictatorship while screaming “we are not afraid…we are not afraid.”#SOSCuba #Democracypic.twitter.com/QSomExnzDw
— Alexandre Krauss (@AlexandreKrausz) July 11, 2021
Florida Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar warned that Cuba’s Castro dictatorship was beginning efforts to shut off internet to the island in order to stem the flow of information leaving the country.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a warning to U.S. progressives that this sort of uprising inevitable “because socialism is always a disaster.” He later called on U.S. officials such as President Biden and Secretary Anthony Blinken to urge the Cuban military to protect the people of Cuba, not the government. Rubio also took a swipe at Twitter, because the tech giant labelled content about the protests as being a response to COVID rather than a response to communist governance.
NYT reporter Frances Robles explained that he has “been covering Cuba since… 1994,” but in the many years since then he has “never ever seen anything like [today’s protests].”
The Associated Press reports that police closely tailed protestors as they chanted “Enough, Unite, Freedom.” A motorcyclist tried to wave a U.S. flag but it was quickly pulled down. The report states that Cuba currently faces an economic downturn not seen in decades combined with a massive surge in coronavirus cases.
Demonstrations in urban centers reached tens of thousands as protestors explained that they were weary from starvation and illness due to rationing. “We are [exhausted by] queues, the shortage… that’s why I’m here,” said one protestor.
This gives me chills.
Thousands of Cubans are marching on Havana’s malecón chanting “¡Libertad!” (“Freedom!).
— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) July 11, 2021
Author: Roy Morris