Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who a few days ago called on revolutionaries to counter anti-government protesters in the streets, on Wednesday acknowledged the government’s shortcomings in the run-up to unrest in the country.
Díaz-Canel, who has been widely criticized for the country’s violent crackdown and internet blackouts, gave a televised speech Wednesday evening and acknowledged that his government’s failures played a role in the protests over food shortages and Other problems.
“We need to gain experience of the unrest,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “We must also do a critical analysis of our problems to act and overcome, and avoid their repetition.”
Historic protests erupted in Cuba on Sunday evening. Diaz-Canel, who heads the Communist Party, did not seem interested in making concessions. He blamed the United States squarely for stoking resentment and called the protesters mercenaries. At one point he said: “The order to fight has been given: in the streets, revolutionaries!
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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. Some protesters have demanded a change of government, so although Díaz-Canel appeared to temper the rhetoric, it remains to be seen whether there will be any concessions from the government.
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The true extent of the crackdown in the country is unclear due to reports of Internet access blockages. The New York Times, citing Amnesty International, reported Tuesday that at least 150 people have been arrested. There have been other reports that some protesters were missing. Díaz-Canel on Wednesday urged Cubans not to act with hatred.
DEM SOCIALISTS ALSO MOM ON PROTESTS
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested on Tuesday that Florida-based companies should attempt to provide Internet access to Cuba after the Communist country shut down the Internet to quell recent protests and dissent.
“What does the regime do when you start to see these images? »DeSantis said at a press conference. “They shut down the Internet. They don’t want the truth to come out, they don’t want people to be able to communicate.”
Andrew Mark Miller of Fox News and Associated Press contributed to this report
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