Cubans stage rare protests


President points finger at US after hundreds of people demonstrate against food shortages and blackouts.
Rare protests have taken place in Cuba as the island nation’s economic crisis persists.
A wave of blackouts in Cuba has recently seen power supplies cut for up to 18 hours or more in a day.
That, in turn, has jeopardised food supplies and economic activity in the cash-strapped country.
Cuba is battling its worst economic crisis in decades, caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the flow of much-needed tourism dollars plunge.
Its economy has also long been stymied by US trade embargoes and recent sanctions imposed during Donald Trump’s presidency.
“The United States is not behind these protests in Cuba and the accusation of that is absurd,” Patel said.
The protests in Santiago were peaceful as demonstrators shouted, “Down with communism.
We’re seeing a five-hour dip in traffic to #Cuba coinciding with reports of a disruption in mobile service following protests in Santiago de Cuba earlier today.
Since 1960, the US has maintained an economic embargo on Cuba, which restricts trade between the countries.

Amidst hundreds of protesters against food shortages and blackouts, the president accuses the United States.

Cuba has experienced sporadic protests due to the ongoing economic crisis on the island.

Following hundreds of demonstrators’ protests against power outages and food shortages in Santiago, Cuba’s second-largest city, the previous day, President Miguel Diaz-Canel issued a call for calm.

Crowds in the communist-ruled nation were seen chanting “Power and food” in social media footage. “.

Diaz-Canel’s administration called the US ambassador to Cuba for a meeting on Monday, accusing the US of inciting the unrest.

Recent blackouts in Cuba have resulted in power outages lasting up to eighteen hours or longer each day. Food supplies and economic activity in the cash-strapped nation have been put at risk as a result.

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a decline in vital tourism revenue, which has left Cuba grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades. US trade embargoes and more recent sanctions put in place during Donald Trump’s presidency have also long hampered the country’s economy.

Diaz-Canel demanded communication and “peace.”.

“A number of individuals have conveyed their discontentment regarding the state of food distribution and electrical service,” he posted on X.

He went on, “The party, the state, and the government are prepared to address the grievances of our people, listen, communicate, and clarify the various initiatives being undertaken to ameliorate the circumstances, always in an environment of calm and peace.

Numerous people have voiced their dissatisfaction with the state of the food distribution and electrical service. The Revolution’s enemies are trying to take advantage of this situation in order to achieve desestabilizing goals. — on March 18, 2024, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB).

The president accused US “mediocre politicians and terrorists” as well as “enemies of the government” of attempting to sabotage the protests. During a press conference on Monday, Vedant Patel, a spokesperson for the US State Department, vehemently denied those accusations.

According to Patel, “the claim that the United States is behind these protests in Cuba is ridiculous.”.

Following reports of protests in Bayamo, Granma, and other places, the US embassy in Havana stated in a post on X that it had received. “To respect the protestors’ human rights and address the legitimate needs of the Cuban people,” it pleaded with the government.

Protesters in Santiago held nonviolent demonstrations while yelling, “Down with communism.”. Diaz-Canal must go. Social media videos did not appear to show any signs of altercations or arrests. Additionally present were a sizable contingent of state security officers.

However, according to some reports, internet services were unavailable from late Sunday to early Monday.

Reports of a disruption in mobile service following protests in Santiago de Cuba earlier today have coincided with a five-hour drop in traffic to Cuba. At 19:20 UTC (3:20 PM ET), there is a traffic dip that lasts until 00:30 UTC (8:30 PM ET). Doug Madory (@DougMadory) March 18, 2024. pic . twitter . com/hXAlmwswm3.

The largest-scale protests Cuba has seen since Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959 were severely suppressed by Havana in July 2021. The world community expressed disapproval of the response.

Trade between the two countries is restricted due to the US’s economic embargo against Cuba, which has been in place since 1960.

Cuba contacted the UN World Food Programme for the first time in February, asking for assistance in providing milk to children, according to the organization.

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