The Cuban government’s rapid crackdown on anti-government protests seemed to do little to slow the underlying feeling in the communist country that something historic is brewing.
“The spark has been ignited, ladies and gentlemen,” Yoani Sánchez, a reporter in the country, said Tuesday in a podcast, according to the New York Times. “There is no turning back. People have felt what it is to cry out for freedom on the streets of Cuba.”
CRUZ CALLS ON DEPARTMENT OF STATE OF BIDEN AMONG REPORTS ON CUBA’S REPRESSION ON DEMONSTRATORS
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Havana on Sunday to attack deteriorating conditions in the country under the communist regime – the biggest protest in decades – prompting the country’s president to call citizens “revolutionary “to counter the demonstrators.
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Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, accompanied by a resurgence of coronavirus cases, as it suffers the consequences of US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
The true extent of the crackdown in the country is unclear due to reports of Internet access blockages. The Time, citing Amnesty International, reported that at least 150 people were arrested. There have been other reports that some protesters were missing.
One person was killed in Havana on Monday, according to the BBC. The man, 36, was reportedly part of a group that attacked a government facility in a Havana suburb. The report said the country’s police took to the streets “in force”.
President Biden called the protests “remarkable.”
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“The Cuban people demand their release from an authoritarian regime. I don’t think we’ve seen something like this protest for a long time, if, frankly, never,” he said.
The Times spoke to a “former Cuban dissident” who said he was stunned when he was brought to a police station after the protests and saw new faces.
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“I told the state security officer who arrested me, ‘You are going to have to change,” “Guillermo Fariñas, 59, told the newspaper. “‘These are the people, and not just the people, but the young people. Look at them: they have decided that they are not just going to keep leaving the country – they want change here.'”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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