Due to pandemic adds to Cuba's difficulties, the country is witnessing its largest protests in decades

People shout slogans against the government during a protest against and in support of the government, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Havana, Cuba July 11, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

People shout slogans against the government during a protest against and in support of the government, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Havana, Cuba July 11, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

Due to pandemic adds to Cuba's difficulties, the country is witnessing its largest protests in decades. Scores of Cubans gathered on public street rallies from Havana to Santiago on Sunday, screaming "freedom" and demanding on President Miguel Diaz-Canel to resign in the largest anti-government marches on the Totalitarian island in decades. 

The rallies arose amid Cuba's greatest economic recession ever since the demise of its longtime ally, the Soviet Union, and a record rise in covid-19 and people expressing outrage about food shortages, civil rights restrictions, and the government's mismanagement of the outbreak. 

Huge numbers of people came to the squares of Havana, along with the historic centre, shouting "Diaz-Canel step down!”.

"We are going through really difficult times," Miranda Lazara, 53, a dance teacher, who joined the thousands of protesters who marched through Havana. "We need a change of system."

 

Protestors claimed they rushed to the squares after witnessing the effect on social media, causing a more crucial element with the advent of internet technology two and a half years ago, but connectivity were spotty on Sunday. According to Michael Bustamante, an associate professor of Latin American history at Florida International University, the anti-government protests were the biggest since the summer of 1994.

"Only now, they weren't limited to the capital; they didn't even start there, it seems," he said.

“I just walked through town looking to buy some food and there were lots of people there, some with signs, protesting,” resident Claris Ramirez said by phone. “They are protesting blackouts, that there is no medicine".

"We are calling on all the revolutionaries in the country, all the Communists, to take the streets wherever there is an effort to generate these provocations," President Diaz-Canel in his broadcast comments after visiting the province.

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