Thousands of Cubans have participated in the biggest protest for decades against the communist government. They started marching in the cities including the capital Havana to raise voice against the dictatorship.
The images on social media are showing that the security forces are detaining and beating the protesters. The Cubans are also angry with the collapse of the economy and with restrictions on civil liberties and for the authorities.
The protesters are demanding a faster vaccination program. Cuba has reported nearly 7000 daily cases and 47 deaths on Sunday. Cuba’s economy has shrunk by 11 % in the last three decades. The pandemic has hit it hard.
Thousands of supporters from the pro-government took the street after the president’s show on television. President Miguel Diaz- Canel has also said that the protests are provocations from the US. The top US diplomat for Latin America, Julie Chung, expressed her stand with the Cuban people.
The protest started with a demonstration in the city of San Antonio de Los Banos. But it soon spread to the country.
Many of them have been shown on social networks. Marchers are shouting slogans against the government and the president. They want a change.
Alejandro, a protester, said, “This is the day. We can’t take it anymore. There is no food; no medicine; there is no freedom. They do not let us live. We are already tired.”
The posts on social media are showing that people are overturning police cars. They are also looting some of the state-owned shops which are having pierce for their goods in foreign currency. For many Cubans, these shops are the only way to buy basic goods. But the price is very high.
Cuba deals with a struggling economy. Its tourism has been devastated by the restrictions on travel due to the pandemic. Sugar is another key earner for Cuba. But the harvest this year has been very poor.
However, the lack of fuel and the breakdown in the machinery are some of the many reasons for it. It cannot buy the imported goods to supplement the shortages.
The Queues for food are growing. Moreover, the power shortages are leading to blackouts for several hours in the country.