Puerto Rico: As authorities crack down on dissent following the largest mass protests in years, Cuba appeared to block access to some social media sites on Monday while detaining dozens of protesters.
Social Media and Messaging Services
Social media and messaging services like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Telegram were reportedly partially unavailable on the tightly regulated communist island, according to the privately run Internet monitoring company NetBlocks.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel accused social media earlier in the day of stoking the unrest that culminated in the weekend protests. A comment request email wasn’t immediately answered by Facebook Inc.
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Who Attack Us
He stated on Twitter that the Cuban government “will not turn the other cheek for those who attack us in the real world or online.” While counterrevolutionary violence will be suppressed, revolutionary violence will be avoided.
Published a List
The number of those detained has not been disclosed by the government, but Cuba Decide, a pro-democracy organisation on the island, has published a list of 57 people it claims have been detained or go missing. Jose Daniel Ferrer and his son, both members of the UNPACU, a dissident organisation, are among those still unaccounted for.
Thousands took to the streets on Sunday to protest the rising cost of goods, the scarcity of necessities, and the frequent blackouts. On an island that punishes dissent, there were infrequent looting incidents and clashes with security personnel. Crowds once turned over a police car in an incident.
The U.S. trade embargo, according to Diaz-Canel, is starving the island of fuel and causing power outages, which he claimed is the cause of the unrest on Monday. The prevalence of Covid-19 cases in Cuba is also at an all-time high, forcing the government to divert electricity from regular Cubans to hospitals and health facilities, he added.
The conservative Cuban-American “mafia” in Miami, according to Diaz-Canel, is what’s causing the unrest.
Individual Party Rule
Since its 1959 revolution, Cuba has been governed by a single party, and in recent years, it has struggled with rising levels of hunger as a result of the pandemic’s negative effects on tourism. Former American President Donald Trump tightened the embargo in 2017, making it more challenging for Americans to visit the island.
In response to the downturn, Cuba implemented emergency economic reforms last year, eliminating some subsidies, adjusting prices and wages, and ending the use of two currencies.
Diaz Authority Canel
The demonstrations are one of the first significant challenges to Diaz-authority Canel’s since he assumed office in 2018 and succeeded Raul Castro as leader of Cuba’s Communist Party in April.
Although Diaz-Canel acknowledged that there were “legitimate” causes for the unrest in Cuba, he claimed that the demonstrations were a result of a “unconventional war” backed by the United States, similar to the one that he claimed had sparked unrest in Venezuela.
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U.S. President Joe Biden
The protesters are “bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights,” according to U.S. President Joe Biden.
He said, “We stand with the people of Cuba and their resounding cry for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering they have been subjected to by Cuba’s authoritarian regime.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president of Mexico, urged the United States to lift the “unjust” embargo and offered to send food, medicine, and vaccines to Cuba if its government so requested.