Protests sweeping across Cuba began in the town of San Antonio de los Baños
People demanded order with electricity and water, essential goods in shops and (interestingly) coronavirus vaccines. The unrest has also taken hold in Havana. Several thousand protesters marched through the streets of the capital and there have been attacks on police officers.
According to the authorities, the most determined were the small private owners, dissatisfied with the state policy of restricting “capitalist tendencies” in the economy. The escoria, i.e., the declassified elements (literally – slag, scum, filth), came to the fore.
Fidel Castro, in order to get rid of the escoria, and of the dissidents at the same time, allowed anyone who wanted to emigrate. In April-October 1980, 125,000 citizens left the island, most of whom settled in Miami, Florida, the centre of subversive activities by US intelligence agencies against Cuba and other Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel personally undertook to resolve the crisis situation. He travelled to San Antonio de los Baños, spoke on television, noted critical shortages of food, medicine and power outages. The main reason for the difficult situation is the almost half-century-old US blockade of the island.
The president appealed to all supporters of the Cuban revolution to support the socialist system. The most important indicator of the authorities’ control of the situation was their ability to bring tens of thousands of fellow citizens onto the streets of the cities, who understood what independence meant and what Cubans would face when socialism was destroyed.
Gradually, the situation on the streets of Cuban cities normalised: armed patrols returned to their barracks and the police detained several dozen people. The energetic actions of Díaz-Canel and other leading Communists allowed them to claim: La calle es nuestra! (The street belongs to us).
However, Washington’s subversive strategy continues. The emphasis is on the economic strangulation of the republic in order to foment mass discontent. The energy system is an important target, and its destabilisation would have an immediate impact on the lives of the people. The energy system of Venezuela, Cuba’s ally, is also under attack.
The Cubans have never faced such sabotage before. The UN has condemned the trade, economic and financial embargo against Cuba by an overwhelming majority, but the embargo continues. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez estimates that the damage caused by the embargo reaches nearly $150 billion annually. Rodriguez accused Washington that the “pandemic” is now being used to increase external pressure on the island.
On his Twitter page, President Diaz-Canel called on Cubans to unite against the growing threat of aggression from the US: the Biden administration is provoking an outburst of discontent in Cuba to create an excuse to send a “humanitarian mission” to the island, which is being transformed into an invasion.
Diaz-Canel recalled Washington’s actions to create an “enemy image” of Cuba and tighten the embargo: “…Finally, it was decided to add Cuba to the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. The new restrictions immediately deprived the country of various sources of foreign currency income, such as tourism, Cuban-American travel to our country and remittances. There was a plan to discredit Cuban medical brigades and solidarity groups in Cuba, which received a solid amount of foreign currency for this cooperation.
The result of US actions was a shortage of food, medicine, raw materials and supplies in Cuba. The problems are exacerbated by an army of US propagandists working on the Cuban cause. The most popular propaganda talking points are corruption, party privileges, overseas assignments…
The United States has not succeeded in destroying Cuba, in spite of the fact that they have spent billions of dollars to achieve it”.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has accused the US administration of spreading slanderous fabrications about Cuban life and prominent figures. The use of falsehoods in news programmes broadcast to Cuba from the US and Europe has become a long-term operation against the island.
One of the leaders of the Communist Party of Cuba, Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, in charge of ideological work, compared the recent events in Cuba to the failed 2019 mutiny against Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro: “We are experiencing new chapters of unconventional warfare, they (the Americans) call it colour revolutions or soft coups.”
“Cuba is resisting the blockade. We will never fold our flags!” – says President Diaz-Canel. A new generation of Cuban politicians, replacing the old revolutionary guard, and the commanders of the armed forces and special services will face an uphill test.
On the subject of recent events in Cuba, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “We are convinced that the Cuban authorities are taking all necessary measures to restore public order in the interests of the citizens within the framework of the national Constitution and current domestic legislation. We consider inadmissible interference from outside in the internal affairs of a sovereign State and any other destructive actions that would promote destabilisation of the situation on the island.
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