Shouting especially “Patria andd Vida”, the title of a protest song, but also “Down with the dictatorship!” and “We are not afraid”, The protesters, mostly young, marched through the capital, San Antonio de Los Baños, Güira de Melena and Alquízar, in the western province of Artemisa, and Palma Soriano in Santiago de Cuba.
“Oh, my God!” A woman is heard saying at a time when the march passes in front of her, shouting out loud “We want Freedom” and calling out insults to the head of the dictatorship Miguel Díaz-Canel.
San Antonio de los Baños, the first town to hit the streets, is a small rural town in the province of Artemisa, neighboring Havana. It has about 50,000 inhabitants.
The head of the Castro dictatorship Miguel Diaz Canel promised repression and called on the “communist revolutionaries” to fight the protesting Cubans.
“We are ready to give our lives. They have to step over our corpses if they want to face the revolution. We are ready for anything,” said Díaz Canel in statements to the Telesur network.
“We are not going to allow any counterrevolutionary, mercenary, sold to the US empire, to provoke destabilization,” he said. And he threatened: “There will be a revolutionary response. That is why we call on all communists to take to the streets where these provocations are going to take place and confront them decisively”.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020, Cubans have been forced to stand in long lines to stock up on food, a situation that has been compounded by a severe shortage of medicines, which has generated widespread social unrest.
The protest occurs on a day in which Cuba registered another record number of COVID-19 infections in 24 hours, with 6,923, for a total of 238,491, and deaths, with 47 (1,537).
“These are alarming figures, which are increasing by the day,” said Francisco Durán, the head of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, in his usual television press conference on Sunday.
The situation is especially tense in the tourist province of Matanzas, located 100 km east of Havana, where the high number of infections can cause health services to collapse.
Under the labels #SOSCuba ”, #SOSMatanzas” or #SalvemosCuba ”, among others, calls for help are multiplying on social networks, but also calls for the government to facilitate the sending of donations from abroad.
“Mundo Cuba needs your help!” The famous duo Gente de Zona, made up of reggaeton players Randy Malcom and Alexander Delgado, claimed on Twitter.
The call of “SOS Cuba” by Gente de Zona was shared on that social network by other renowned artists of the region such as Daddy Yankee, Becky G, Natti Natasha, and the singer René Pérez (Resident of Calle 13), among others.
This is the largest anti-government protest that has been registered on the island since the so-called “maleconazo”, when in August 1994, in the middle of the “special period”, hundreds of people took to the streets of Havana and did not leave until the arrival of the then Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
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