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Sun Jul 11, 2021, 08:32 PM

Cubans take to the streets for the biggest anti-government protests in decades

Source: Washington Post

MIAMI — Communist Cuba erupted in its largest-scale demonstrations in decades on Sunday as thousands of people chanting “freedom” and “yes, we can” took to the streets from Havana to Santiago de Cuba in a major new challenge to an authoritarian government struggling to cope with increasingly severe blackouts, food shortages and a spiking coronavirus outbreak.

The protests, from Havana’s famous Malecon to the island nation’s eastern cities, spoke to the power of social media. They apparently started in the city of San Antonio de los Baños and spread rapidly as demonstrators shared their protests on Facebook Live. The demonstrations were so large that President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who succeeded Raúl Castro this year as first secretary of the Communist Party, called on Cuba’s “revolutionary” citizens to take to the streets.

“We are prepared to do anything,” he said in a national address. "We will be battling in the streets.” He blamed the United States for agitating the population.

José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas division, said his group had received reports that at least 20 people had been arrested. He added that the organization had received reports of violence being used by Cuban forces, a claim echoed by social media users sharing videos of wounded protesters.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/07/11/cuba-protests/?outputType=amp

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cubans take to the streets for the biggest anti-government protests in decades (Original post)
Jose Garcia Jul 11 OP
jcmaine72 Jul 11 #1
Warpy Jul 11 #2
Sapient Donkey Jul 12 #15
Warpy Jul 12 #16
Judi Lynn Jul 12 #7
jcmaine72 Jul 12 #12
GulfCoast66 Jul 12 #8
JI7 Jul 12 #10
UnderThisLaw Jul 12 #19
Jose Garcia Jul 13 #24
oldsoftie Jul 11 #3
GulfCoast66 Jul 11 #4
Eyeball_Kid Jul 12 #6
speak easy Jul 12 #9
jcmaine72 Jul 12 #14
speak easy Jul 12 #17
Nederland Jul 12 #18
eissa Jul 13 #23
IronLionZion Jul 12 #5
HUAJIAO Jul 12 #11
Polybius Jul 12 #20
GulfCoast66 Jul 12 #22
brooklynite Jul 12 #13
rictofen Jul 12 #21

Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Sun Jul 11, 2021, 09:22 PM

1. I suspect these "spontaneous protests" are being organized and funded

by one of the countless extreme RW hate groups in S. Florida.

The Cuban people have been dealing with their own version of Trumpanzee insurrectionists long before the real Donald Trump grabbed his first P***y.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 11, 2021, 10:03 PM

2. Not necessarily

50 years of an embargo that outlived any usefulness decades ago has pretty much destroyed any hope their economy ever had. Younger Cubans want to leave, there is just not anything there for them any more.

We should have ended the embargo when the USSR fell, carrots working better than sticks, but Republicans were terrified of losing the Batista Cuban vote in Florida. Once their main trading partner, the USSR, was no more, a slow opening of trade could have been used as leverage to liberalize their system.

Even the Batista Cubans might have realized that making money was preferable to hanging onto an old grudge.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 01:49 PM

15. I would think it's in the US' interest to normalize relations with Cuba

We have China continuously growing its economy and global influence. There seems to be an attempt on both sides of the pacific to decouple the US and Chinese economies. Which I would think only increases the chances of direct and indirect conflict. I'm just a dummy on the internet, but I think that Cuba would be a prime place for China to exert power near the US, and perhaps to use as leverage when it comes to US support of Taiwan. Not to mention it gives the Cuban government a good boogeyman to point to whenever bad things happen, and it's hard to dispute because it's not totally incorrect. I fail to see the benefit of continuing the embargo against Cuba, but it's easy to see the many drawbacks.

I recall that when Obama had his visit to Cuba there were two groups that seemed to have the most issues with it. The obvious being the republicans who would be against anything Obama did, and also some people on the far-far-left who were concerned about it leading to Cuba changing. I thought that was interesting at the time.

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Response to Sapient Donkey (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 02:14 PM

16. I know a few lefties who went there with stars in their eyes

and returned with stars in their eyes, but even they admitted an end to the embargo is absolutely vital, otherwise there will be another revolution with another strong man and Cubans stand to lose more than they gain.

An end to the embargo and normalization of relations will remove the justification for heavy handed oppression.

I know a few of those far lefties with stars in their eyes over the Cuban revolution. I even know a Cuban who still says it was necessary and has a few stars in his eyes.

One wonders how heavy the repression would now be if we'd done the right thing when the USSR finally fell, making Commies in our back yard far less of a threat.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 12:48 AM

7. The right-wing reactionary racist elites who were the first wave to run to Miami

were the big fish in the small bowl against whom the Cuban masses revolted, they comprised the very large landowners, the industrialists, the enormous sugar barons, the people with United Fruit (later Chiquita), the ones who owned and controlled everything, even the death squads, like Batista pal and newspaper owner, and rancher, Rolando Masferrer owned the "Masferrer's Tigers" death squad, roaming the streets in cars, kidnapping, torturing, murdering leftist dissidents, even dismembering their bodies and hanging them from trees as they did in Santiago de Cuba.

The US rightwing citizens who continue to pass around disinformation about Cuba and its history are either deliberately attempting to keep fellow idiots in the dark, or they are simply ignorant, and too lazy to start finding out what actually has happened OVER THE YEARS by researching, talking to people, asking questions, LISTENING, and breaking down and expending some energy trying to READ, to study, to research, for christ's sakes.

No time like the present to wake up.

Thank you very much for your sane, intelligent post. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 10:54 AM

12. No, thank you! As always, you provide sorely needed context with a wealth of factual information

It's almost mind-numbing that after all these decades, the thoroughly corrupt, brutal, mafia-beholden fascist regime of Batista is still remembered fondly and even defended by some, this despite the well-documented abuses of power and systemic corruption you listed above.

After all the nefarious, underhanded crap that's been done to undermine Cuba and its people over the past sixty years, both by our own government and by various (CIA funded) RW extremist groups in Florida, I just find it impossible to believe that these "protests" are anything other than a deliberate attempt by the usual suspects to destroy Cuba's government once and for all. Cuba is especially vulnerable right now. They smell the blood in the water and are moving in for the kill.

Thanks again!

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 01:02 AM

8. I would think in a nation with no political freedom, which sums up Cuba

Any protest against the political repression would be a positive.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 06:35 AM

10. I think it has more to do with the fact that life sucks for many in Cuba .

And perhaps with things like international travel to Cuba they are seeing more of what life could be like and want something better.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 08:40 PM

19. That's interesting

I have the same suspicions about the original post

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 13, 2021, 03:28 PM

24. It seemsvthat you think that Cubans can't think for themselves

Protests happen in virtually every county. Why can't they happen in Cuba without foreign interference?

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Sun Jul 11, 2021, 11:15 PM

3. People are fed up with living 40 yrs behind.

At some point they were going to demand change.
Hopefully the government wont slaughter them

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Sun Jul 11, 2021, 11:59 PM

4. Never understood the love for Cuba we used to get on DU.

Granted that has dropped to low levels after the 16 exodus. Small coincidence!

They are as repressive government as any in the Western Hemisphere. I don’t care if a repressive government calls itself Socialist, Islamist, Hindu, Christian, or Flying Spaghetti Monster! They suck.

That said we have done more to insure the status quo than any other country. In 61 had we said ‘communist now, cool. Want some television and new Chevy’s’ they would have reverted to a more open society long before now. Which is the largest irony. The leftist defenders of Cuba in the US who rail against our embargo would have seen their socialist dream County become capitalist. Like all of Western European is.

It’s seems clear to me looking at Western European the key to a prosperous, healthy and happy population is a highly regulated capitalist system that insures the wealth that capitalism creates is shared freely to those with little or no capital.

No other system creates wealth like capitalism. The key is insuring all benefit.

I hope the government there realizes this. I’d hate to see violence there. Or them become a county like China. Which is basically now fascist. Capitalism is encouraged but controlled by the government.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 12:35 AM

6. Good post. n/t

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 03:54 AM

9. "No other system creates wealth like capitalism" cf China.

Last edited Mon Jul 12, 2021, 04:44 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to speak easy (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 11:05 AM

14. Or racism.

&t=2s

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 04:45 PM

17. and slavery itself

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 08:25 PM

18. Agreed

It was difficult to understand the level of support the Cuban regime had here at DU.

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Response to Nederland (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 13, 2021, 03:05 PM

23. It's a reflexive reaction to the right

They hate the Castros and the revolution, therefore we must support it, regardless of the fact that it is an oppressive police state that many liberals would run screaming from.

This does not diminish the objective of the Revolution, or those who fought so valiantly to rid the island of Batista and his thugs. But it was never the intention of the majority of those revolutionaries to replace one caudillo with another, hence why most of them ended up jailed, executed, or in exile.

Aside from the Cuban people themselves, there are no clean hands in what has transpired there for the past 60+ years. The left has done itself no favors by abandoning our liberal brothers and sisters in defense of a tyrant none of us would have tolerated living under ourselves. Let's hope the Cuban people get to independently decide their fate and finally bring to fruition the original intent of the revolution.

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 12:21 AM

5. Could be a Cuban Spring

like the Arab spring. Hoping it turns out better for them than Venezuela

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 08:25 AM

11. Why start the article with, "Communist Cuba ...?"

They don't start with "Capitalist Portugal."

???

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Response to HUAJIAO (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 09:05 PM

20. Capitalist countries are more common

If Portugal was Nazi and people were protesting, I'm certain the article would start off with "Nazi Portugal."

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Response to HUAJIAO (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 11:16 PM

22. Several reasons I can think of.

Communist country is another way of saying oppressive. I can’t think of any nation that was or is communist that was not oppressive.

And because that is how they identify themselves. Granted, they use the word socialist, but the fact is the government forbids the private ownership of capital. That makes them a outlier on the global stage.

Sure, they now allow a few small, small private enterprises, but only because that was the only way to get any real economic movement in the country. And their support for them has wavered. I suspect now they will allow more. But once things look more rosy, they will again restrict them.

The only way to have to have a Society with no private ownership of commerce is to take it by force from those who have it and prevent those who desire a business from starting one. Again under the threat of force. They have been floundering since the Soviet Union with their Billions of support fell.

I see nothing redeeming about their government. Their people? Well they are people just wanting a better life.

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 10:59 AM

13. Congressman Ruben Gallego:

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Jul 12, 2021, 11:03 PM

21. Biden characterized this as a "clarion call for freedom and relief"

With his far superior access to information, and the best analysis, he would know if these protests were fomented, funded, or otherwise ginned up by outside groups to any substantial degree.

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