Cuban government nips protests in the bud


EA demonstration by regime critics in Cuba did not get under way on Monday. Few Cubans followed calls from dissident groups on social networks who had called for rallies in several cities over the past few days to demand more rights and freedom. The communist government had banned the rallies beforehand, arguing that it was a campaign orchestrated by Washington to destabilize the country.

The government had already increased the pressure on the organizers in the past few days and had various people monitored. Some were arrested while trying to leave their homes on Monday. Only a few demonstrators or small groups could be seen on the streets on Monday. They were verbally attacked by supporters of the government and were evicted or arrested by the police, who marked their presence in uniformed or civilian fashion.

With the demonstration, the dissidents wanted to tie in with the rally of July 11th, which went down in history with several thousand participants as the largest demonstration against the communist government to date. Even then, the Cuban authorities cracked down on them and, according to human rights organizations, arrested more than a thousand people, several hundred of whom are still in custody or under house arrest.

Solidarity from abroad

Government repression may have deterred many Cubans from taking to the streets on Monday. Government supporters had already besieged the house of the activist Junior García on Sunday. García had announced that he would be walking through Havana on Sunday alone with a white rose and in silent protest. But he was prevented from leaving his home.

In addition to the repression, observers also blame the poor timing for the failure of the rallies. On Monday, Cuba resumed a number of economic activities that had been suspended or restricted because of the pandemic. School operations are now back to normal. The country has also fully reopened its borders to international tourists.

Thanks to a vaccine developed in-house, the Cuban population is practically completely vaccinated, which has led to a marked decline in the number of cases in recent weeks and months. The Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez spoke of a solemn day on Monday. All he said about the failed protests was that the “instructions” drafted by Washington were better than their implementation. The Cubans had chosen to stay at home even though they had been incited by the Americans to “do something they did not want.”

While the protests in Cuba were nipped in the bud, various solidarity rallies took place abroad. In Miami in particular, numerous Cubans in exile and sympathizers gathered to demonstrate against the repression in Cuba. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had already sharply criticized the “intimidation tactics” of the Cuban government on Sunday.

Moscow also let itself be carried away to comment. In a press release, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized Washington’s “interference” in Cuba and recalled that the policy of sanctions against Cuba met with opposition from part of the international community. Moscow is sticking to its support for Cuba.


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