Thousands of Cuban protesters took to the streets Sunday (July 11) to protest human rights abuses, lack of freedom and deteriorating economic conditions in the communist-ruled country and to demand an end to Cuba’s communist dictatorship.
Videos uploaded to social media showed demonstrations erupting Sunday in several towns, including the capital Havana. Cuban protesters chanted “freedom” to protest food and medicine shortages in several Cuban cities.
“The people are dying of hunger!” A woman shouted in Spanish during a protest in Artemisa province posted on Facebook, “Our children are dying of hunger!”
In another video, a police car in the city of Cardenas (Cardenas) is overturned by protesters.
Many also said they wanted greater freedom and were tired of the Cuban government’s “permanent revolution” philosophy.
Video of the protest
Video of the protest
Activist: Cuba’s Largest Protest Against Government Since 1959
Claris Ramirez, a Cuban resident, told Reuters by phone, “I was just walking through town to buy some food and there were a lot of people there, some with signs protesting.” She added, “They were protesting the power outage, and the lack of medication.”
Social media posts show that protests also took place in San Antonio de los Baños and Palma Soriano, according to The New York Times.
Cuban activist Carolina Barrero called the protests “spontaneous, positive and powerful.
“This is the largest protest against the government that we have experienced in Cuba since 1959.” She told the New York Times via text message.
It was a big deal, she added.
Florida governor, lawmakers back Cuban protesters
U.S. media gathered information from social media that the Cuban regime is shutting down the Internet, according to Florida Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar (D).
Florida officials issued a statement on social media expressing their support for the Cuban protests and expressing solidarity with the Cuban people. They also shared videos of protesters who can be heard chanting “We are not afraid.
“The Castro dictator does not want the world to see what is happening.” Salazar wrote, “Please share and stand with these freedom fighters!”
“Florida supports the Cuban people taking to the streets against the dictatorship in Havana. The Cuban dictatorship has been oppressing the Cuban people for decades and is now trying to silence those who have the courage to speak out against its disastrous policies.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) tweeted Sunday afternoon.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez called for the U.S. to take the lead in intervening, with a large Cuban diaspora in the city.
“Cubans deserve and are ready to rule themselves without tyranny,” Suarez said at a news conference. “It (tyranny) can end today, and it must end today. The impact of this moment could mean freedom for millions of people in the hemisphere, including Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, among others.”
Rubio: 62 Years of Suffering Leads to Protests in 32 Cuban Cities
Florida Republican Congressman Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted remarks and live video of the Cuba protests. He wrote, “We’ve never seen a day like today in #Cuba (Cuba), where 62 years of suffering, repression and lies (led) to an outbreak (of protests) in over 32 cities as energetic grassroots protests.”
“Spread the word! (Spread the word!) #Cuba wants freedom, not socialism.” He wrote.
He also tweeted, “Spontaneous street protests have now broken out in several cities in #Cuba chanting #NoTenemosMiedo (We are not afraid).” “Frustration with the incompetence, greed and repression of the dictatorship is rapidly growing.”
“Watch out for the American media …… in #Cuba they (protesters) are on the rise because socialism (always brings) disaster.” Rubio went on to write, “Are you going to cover this and let the world hear their voices?”
Rubio then urged President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to call on members of the Cuban military to refrain from firing on their own people.
Rubio wrote that #Cuba’s (Cuban authorities) incompetent Communist Party is unable to feed the people or protect them in an epidemic. “Now the military must defend the people, not the Communist Party.”