Popular unrest in Havana and multiple cities – Government reacts

Photo by Jeremy Zero 

As Cuba Briefing closed for press, some of the largest demonstrations and confrontations seen in Cuba in recent years were taking place in several Cuban cities, including Havana. 

Largely spontaneous and widely reported on social media within Cuba, the unrest was a response to growing concerns about food shortages, severe power outages, the growing incidence of COVID 19, and the deteriorating ability of Cuba’s health care system to cope with rising infection rates. 

In a 12 July address on Cuban Television and Radio, President Díaz-Canel said that many legitimate concerns expressed by the population and “revolutionary people” were being exploited by “manipulators” whose aim was to end the Cuban system. He in particular criticised the intensification of US pressure, which he held responsible for many of the hardships being experienced. 

He ended his words by calling on “revolutionaries to take to the streets to defend the Revolution in all places” while noting that “the State has all the political will to dialogue” but was “not going to hand over sovereignty or the independence of this nation”. Cuba Briefing will carry a full report in its next edition. 

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