Communist Cuba hit by rare political protests
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Havana and others cities throughout Cuba. Thus, despite the relatively small size of the protests, this will still worry the communist government of Cuba.
According to opposition forces against communist rule in Cuba – often directed from the Cuban diaspora in America – these protests are the biggest in three decades. People have been seen on social media videos demanding democracy, freedom, and vaccines to stem the coronavirus crisis in this country.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel is blaming America for the unrest and anti-communist agitators. However, he admits that “The energy situation seems to have produced some reaction here.”
France 24 (AFP) reports, “Social anger has been driven by long food lines and a critical shortage of medicines since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, with Cuba under US sanctions.”
The New York Times reports, “In a country known for repressive crackdowns on dissent, the rallies were widely viewed as astonishing. Activists and analysts called it the first time that so many people had openly protested against the Communist government since the so-called Maleconazo uprising, which exploded in the summer of 1994 into a huge wave of Cubans leaving the country by sea.”
Last year, Cuba mainly escaped the ravages of the international coronavirus crisis. However, this year the situation is gradually getting worse. Hence, negative economic and medical factors are emboldening opposition forces to demand change.
Political elites will be worried about the role of social media in spreading information and encouraging protests to take place throughout parts of the country – even if the protests are currently small in scale.
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