The Cuban town of San Antonio de Los Banos is becoming a hot topic after thousands of protesters engaged in a Sunday rally against the government and “dictatorship” all over Cuba.
With more than 7,000 new COVID19 cases and 47 pandemic-related deaths reported yesterday, the riots were expected as the local media points out continuous food shortages, rising prices, and a poor medical healthcare system.
The protesters were chanting “freedom”, “we are not afraid”, and “we want liberty” as president Miguel Diaz Canel showed up at the rally to calm the tensions.
Warnings against a violent escalation
The Cuban president issued a public statement that the USA is standing behind these riots, as multiple American flags were seen throughout the rally.
Additionally, Diaz Canel denounced any claims that Cuba is facing the biggest economic crisis so far, basically calling it western capitalist propaganda.
In response to his statements, the White House national security adviser suggested that the Cuban government should settle the issue peacefully without targetting the protesters expressing their rights.
Ted Cruz, whose father was Cuban, stated that the communist political system belongs to the dustbin of history and blamed it as the main reason why his parents and thousands of others fled the country over the past few decades, completely dismantling mainstream media’s theory declaring Covid-19 pandemic as the main trigger for protests.
While Miguel Diaz Canel did show up at the rally and called that all unsatisfied citizens go out on the streets to support these “provocations”, the unofficial response wasn’t as diplomatic.
Apart from police deploying the tear gas, there are several videos and photos of protesters being detained by the police.
On the other hand, the Cuban people are showing mutual support as thousands are mobilizing donations to help those in need.
US State Department criticized for supporting the protests, Sanders keeps quiet
Julie Chung, an assistant secretary of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs tweeted her support of the Cuban protesters, calling it a peaceful rally that includes thousands of Cubans protesting against food shortage and the outbreak of COVID19 cases.
Just a couple of hours later, she was criticized by several representatives of the GOP, including the Senator of Florida, who said that the protests aren’t against COVID19 but rather a fight against the tyranny of the communist political system.
The winner of the Nevada 2020 caucus primaries stated that there are certain communist policies that he supports, claiming that Fidel Castro provided his people with one of the best school and health care systems anywhere in the world.
To the surprise of many, Senator Bernie Sanders is yet to issue a statement on these protests.