Thousands rally against government in Cuba
Thousand of Cubans have joined together to stage some of the biggest protests in decades against the country’s Communist government. Marches occurred in cities across the country, including in the capital of Havana with demonstrators shouting phrases such as “down with the dictatorship.” Police met with protestors with pepper spray and physical attacks. Cubans have been angered by the collapse of the economy and oppressive restrictions on civil liberties. Other reasons for tension include the authorities’ handling of the pandemic, as the country has seen record numbers of infections within the past few days. The protestors were also demanding that the government implement a faster Covid-19 vaccination program.
Last year, Cuba’s state-controlled economy shrank by 11%, representing its worst decline in roughly three decades largely due to the pandemic and sanctions imposed by the US under the Trump administration. During the anti-government protests, thousands of pro-government supporters also took to the streets after the president publicly encouraged them to defend the revolution, referring to the 1959 uprising that began Communist rule in Cuba. President Miguel Díaz-Canel believes that the protests were forged by the US in an attempt to destabilize the country.
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