Rare nationwide demonstration in Cuba says pursuit of freedom is no longer to be feared

Just this past Sunday, July 11, Cuba experienced a historic day. Unprecedented demonstrations swept through the country. From East to West, Cubans demonstrated amid calls for “freedom” and “down with dictatorship. Demonstrations are banned on an island that has been ruled for decades by the only communist party. This Sunday, a sense of crisis has overcome the ban and fear. Cuba’s current president also called on revolutionaries who support the government to take to the streets and sing with the protesters.

Cuba has seen unprecedentedly large anti-government protests. On Sunday, July 11, 2021, demonstrations were held across Cuba, including in the capital Havana, demanding more freedom, according to our report. Waves of people swarmed along the Malecon waterfront and the streets of Havana, chanting “freedom. For the first time in their lives, many resentful Cubans came out to demonstrate. Such scenes have never been seen in communist Cuba.

But fear persisted, and all those interviewed wanted to remain anonymous, according to our Havana correspondent Domitile Pilon.

According to one woman, “In almost all the provinces and several cities, people are out on the streets because they are tired of all the problems and the crisis we are living in here!” This one woman said, “Cubans can’t take it anymore.” Another protester complained, “We just want to protest peacefully and demonstrate for our freedom, but the police beat anyone who dares to protest!” According to one female protester who exclaimed, “This is our first protest, but it won’t be our last!”

Crisis, hunger, necessities, the New Coronavirus epidemic and the desire for freedom …… were among the many factors that drove Cubans to the streets. According to the protesters, “Here we are starving and have many needs to claim!” It’s been too much repression and hunger. “Another protester said, “We’ve been silent, we’ve never said anything, but now enough is enough, people can’t take it anymore!

According to the demonstrators, the Cubans filmed everything and felt support and solidarity because of the social network. But also in front of them, the police suppressed the demonstrators: about forty people were arrested in front of our eyes. The problem was that there were police officers in plain clothes and they mixed in with the demonstrators,” said the protesters. “The demonstrators uploaded a video of the scene and said, “Look how they cracked down on the demonstrators. “

In Havana in particular, clashes erupted into melee, with police using tear gas, firing shots into the air and beating demonstrators with plastic pipes, according to AFP. Several police vehicles were overturned and damaged by angry Cubans, and many people were arrested.

Cuban authorities cut off the Internet network Sunday. A total of 40 demonstrations were held Sunday, scattered across the country, according to data news site Inventario. Most of these demonstrations were broadcast live on social networks, which spread the demands of civil society in a country where cell phones and the Internet only became available in late 2018. The 3G network was cut off in most parts of the country from midday onwards that day. The network was restored only in the evening.

Meanwhile, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel went on television to call on revolutionaries to take to the streets. He acknowledged that there were some demands, but said there was a great deal of confusion among Cubans. He also accused longtime enemies, namely on the part of Washington, of instigation. Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Gerardo Peñalver declared on Twitter, “The Cuban revolution and we will defend it at all costs. “He shared a clip of communist supporters waving Cuban flags and saying “I am Fidel! (i.e. Castro)” chants.

According to the report, the U.S. warned Cuban authorities Sunday against using violence against demonstrators protesting against the “dictatorship” across Cuba.