The July protests in Cuba – the organization for world peace
On July 11, thousands of Cubans began to protest peacefully against the lack of food and access to medicine. The country continues to experience an economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions. According to Cubalex, after the continued police presence on Sunday, at least 80 protesters, activists and independent journalists were arrested across the country. Police used tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters, and CNN reporters said they saw protesters forcibly arrested and piled into the backs of vans by police. President Miguel Diaz-Canel, in response to protesters’ calls for his resignation, blamed the protests and economic instability on the US “economic suffocation” of Cuba and US funding of counterrevolutionary groups.
The decades-old tightening of US sanctions under former US President Donald Trump has exacerbated power shortages and blackouts in Cuba, allowing Foreign Secretary Bruno Rodriguez to blame the US for the sudden rise in unrest in Cuba. The Cuban government has also cited the launch of the online #SOSCuba campaign, which calls for humanitarian aid, as a disguised attempt to stir up unrest and incite violent protests. On a television broadcast, the president called on pro-government supporters to restore order by encouraging them to fight back and “defend the revolution.” Network monitoring company Kentik and internet monitor Netblocks reported that the whole country was offline, with internet access suspended for just under half an hour on Sunday. This was followed by several hours of intermittent blackouts. Netblocks reported online that “social media and messaging platforms were restricted to #Cuba as of Monday on state-run internet provider ETECSA; Real-time network data corroborates reports of internet disruptions amid growing anti-government protests. However, the videos that Cubans uploaded, depicting the spontaneous protest movement and peaceful protests, have gained momentum.
Global pressure to respond to protests and accelerate political change has resulted from appropriate and informative media coverage. The Cuban government’s attempt to suppress the ability of its citizens to record, communicate, inform and collaborate shows a willingness to suppress protests. In response, the United Nations called for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly to be upheld and upheld, saying it was monitoring protests for human rights violations. United States President Joe Biden has vowed to ease sanctions during his White House campaign, but has yet to do so. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez condemned the United States, saying the economic ban on trade or doing business with the United States should end. He said, “The truth is that if we want to help Cuba, the first thing to do is to suspend the blockade of Cuba as requested by the majority of the countries of the world.
Steps must be taken to alleviate the economic constraints imposed on Cuba and its citizens. This implies that President Biden relaxes US sanctions against Cuba. Meanwhile, international organizations and countries around the world should pressure the Cuban government to allow citizens to peacefully demonstrate, protest and have access to online resources that connect them to the rest of the world.