Cuba protests: Why are there protests in Cuba, what’s happening?

Cuba: Thousands join anti-government protests in Havana

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Civil unrest has been growing in Cuba and now thousands have taken to the streets to protest. These rallies are the biggest protests this country has seen in decades. So, why are people uniting against the Communist government – what is going wrong in Cuba?

There has been huge civil unrest in Cuba as thousands rally against their Communist government.

Many Cubans have become enraged over the collapse of their economy and lay the blame at their Government’s feet.

Further hatred towards the Government can be attributed to the restrictions on liberties and the Cuban authorities’ handling of the Covid pandemic.

Cubans have marched in cities across the country including the capital Havana calling for the Government to fall.

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Thousands of Cubans involved in the protests have been shouting: “Down with the dictatorship!”.

There are two main reasons for this unrest: one being the economic problems crippling the country, and the second being anger felt towards the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

Why is Cuba facing an economic crisis?

Cuba’s economy is largely controlled by the state, the country is experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades.

The main reasons behind the country’s economic decline are due to US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and the costs of the pandemic.

Last year, Cuba’s economy shrank by 11% percent – this is the worst decline the country has seen in almost three decades.

How has the Cuban government handled the pandemic?

The Cuban government has failed to get the pandemic under control.

The country has seen a surge in Covid cases, as a record high of almost 7,000 daily infections and 47 deaths were reported by authorities on Sunday.

Protestors are demanding a faster rollout of the Government’s vaccination programme which they say has been far too slow.

One protester told The Associated Press: “We are fed up with the queues, the shortages. That’s why I’m here.”

Another protestor told the BBC: “We can’t take it anymore. There is no food, there is no medicine, there is no freedom. They do not let us live.

The protests started in San Antonio de los Baños and quickly spread throughout the country.

Many Cubans have tried to broadcast the protests live by taking videos on their mobile phones but, the authorities shut down the country’s internet this afternoon to stop such images from spreading.

The crackdown on these protests by the Government appears to be heavy-handed.

Images on social media before the internet was cut off show what appears to be the authorities arresting and beating some protesters.

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