Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets in several places in Cuba against the socialist one-party government. As media critical of the government report, the demonstrations were directed against the shortage economy, the corona policy and the repression by the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Most recently, people shouted "Down with the dictatorship" in the streets.
Especially in the village of San Antonio de los Baños, southwest of the capital Havana, numerous people protested on Sunday. There were also demonstrations in Havana and the cities of Holguín, Matanzas, Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba. President Díaz-Canel went to San Antonio de los Baños himself and addressed the Cubans on state television. "We will not give up the sovereignty and independence of this nation," said the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. "If you want to defeat the revolution, you have to go over our corpses."
The US is warning Havana against violence against the demonstrators
According to government opponents, security forces took action against the demonstrators on Sunday. "We call on all revolutionaries to take to the streets and defend the revolution in all places," said Díaz-Canel. The US warned Havana against using force against the demonstrators. "The United States supports freedom of expression and assembly in Cuba and would strongly condemn any violence or crackdown on peaceful protesters exercising their universal rights," Security Advisor Jake Sullivan wrote on Twitter. Julie Chung, the top official responsible for the American continent at the US State Department, expressed a similar opinion. "We stand by the right of the Cuban people to assemble peacefully," she wrote.
Massive protests against the socialist government are rare in authoritarian Cuba. Recently, however, opposition artists from the so-called San Isidro movement had repeatedly brought people onto the streets and also attracted international attention. The musicians Descemer Bueno, Yotuel Romero and the Duo Gente de Zona showed their solidarity with the movement with their song “Patria y Vida”.
It was only in April that President Miguel Díaz-Canel took over the leadership of the Communist Party (PCC) from Raúl Castro. For the first time since the victory of the revolution of 1959, Castro is no longer in a leadership position on the socialist Caribbean island. However, the change at the top of the party did not go hand in hand with political liberalization. In everyday life, most Cubans suffer from the consequences of the Cuban planned economy and the US economic embargo. The Communist Party has ruled Cuba for more than 60 years. Other parties are not officially allowed.