Cuba protests: One reported dead in anti-government protests

Someone passed away throughout clashes with authorities on Monday, Cuba’s Ministry of Interior stated Tuesday, according to state-run Radio Rebelde.

The Movimiento San Isidro, which promotes for higher creative expression in Cuba, released a list of activists that it stated were thought to have actually been apprehended by authorities.

Amongst the detainees is reporter Camila Acosta, according to Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, who required her release.

The Interior Ministry stated the guy who passed away and other protesters had actually assaulted authorities.

On Sunday, CNN reporters experienced numerous individuals being by force detained and included the back of vans at demonstrations in Havana. Videos of the demonstration revealed demonstrators turning over a patrol car and tossing rocks at officers.

The Cuban federal government has actually not stated the number of individuals were detained or hurt in the disruptions.

A police car is overturned during a demonstration against Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana on July 11.

These are the biggest demonstrations on the island in years, as Cubans grumbled about an absence of food and medication as the nation goes through a severe recession worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic and United States sanctions.

In San Antonio de los Banos, a city of about 46,000 individuals to the west of Havana, numerous Cubans required to the streets on Sunday, fed up after almost a week of electrical power cuts throughout the sweltering July heat.

“Everyone was in the streets,” one homeowner, who did not wish to be called, informed CNN. “They have gone six days with only 12 hours of power each day. That was one of the things that blew this up.”

In a nationally telecasted address in the future Sunday, President Díaz-Canel blamed United States trade sanctions for the communist-run island’s financial troubles.

Díaz-Canel likewise advised his advocates to physically challenge the protestors. “The order to combat has been given,” he stated at the end of his look, “Revolutionaries need to be on the streets.”

President Miguel Diaz-Canel (in dark blue shirt, wearing a mask) walks with supporters Sunday after an anti-government protest in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba.

The federal government likewise held a conference on Sunday to talk about the demonstrations, according to state media. It was participated in by high-ranking members consisting of previous President and Communist Celebration head Raul Castro, the bro of previous President Fidel Castro.

Castro retired his last management function in April prior to turning over power to his handpicked follower Díaz-Canel. At the time, Díaz-Canel stated Castro would be sought advice from on all significant problems affecting the island.

Reporter apprehended

Acosta, the apprehended reporter, composes for the ABC paper in Madrid, the Spanish capital.

ABC reported that she was detained on Monday early morning in Havana as she left her house. Later on, Cuban security representatives browsed her house and took her computer system, it stated. Hours previously, she had actually reported on anti-government presentations in the Cuban capital on Sunday.

This is not the very first time that Acosta has actually had an altercation with Cuban authorities for doing her job as a press reporter, ABC stated.

The paper stated that her arrest is “completely unacceptable.” It likewise required Acosta’s “immediate release and the return of all professional material taken from her home,” in addition to the dropping of the charges versus her for supposed criminal offenses versus Cuban state security.

An editor at ABC validated to CNN that Acosta is a Cuban nationwide and had actually been operating at the paper for around 6 months.

Cubans gather outside the Capitol to demonstrate against the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel on July 11.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Albares required her instant release in a tweet, stating that, “Spain defends the right to free and peaceful demonstrations and asks the Cuban authorities to respect that. We defend human rights.”

United States President Joe Biden has actually cautioned the Cuban federal government not to punish its freshly bold people. However on Monday, at another prolonged televised federal government conference, Díaz-Canel stated the protesters were bad guys.

“They stoned the police force, damaged cars,” he said. “A behavior that’s completely vulgar, completely indecent.”

Cuban federal government officials on Monday stated there had been no more protests as they enacted an internet blackout. This prevented Cubans from sharing images of demonstrations that had gathered momentum behind the protests in the first place.

Meanwhile, US-Cuban relations are at their lowest point in years. The Trump administration enacted some of the toughest economic measures against Cuba in decades, and so far, the Biden administration seems reluctant to lift them.

Biden’s review of Trump’s policy is still underway, an administration official confirmed. Several months after taking office, he has yet to fulfill his campaign pledge to “go back” to the full diplomatic relations put in place by former President Obama.

Whether Biden will ultimately follow through remains to be seen. Sen. Menendez, a strong opponent of Obama’s policies and the powerful chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, hinted Monday that he thinks Biden might not, after reviewing “all the openings that President Obama made, which were one-sided, unilateral in terms of concessions.”

US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday called on the Cuban government to show restraint and stop its internet blackout.

Biden forced to pivot foreign policy focus to crises in neighboring nations

In Miami, the center of the Cuban exile community in the United States, protesters have taken to the streets in support of the anti-government demonstrators. On Tuesday, parts of the Palmetto Expressway was shut down by protesters, according to Lt. Alex Camacho of the Florida Highway Patrol.

The US Coast Guard has issued a statement urging Cubans on the island “to not take to the sea,” noting the “dangerous and unforgiving” transit across the Florida Straits has claimed nearly 20 lives in recent weeks, according to Rear Adm. Eric Jones, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami.

The already struggling Cuban economy has been hit hard as tourism and good imports have dropped steeply during the pandemic. On Sunday, Cuban health officials also reported a record single-day increase for new Covid-19 cases and deaths.

On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador joined Cuban officials in calling for the US to suspend the Cuba trade embargo as a humanitarian gesture. “No country in the world should be fenced in, blockaded — that’s the opposite of human rights,” he stated.

When asked why Biden had not yet reversed Trump’s policies towards Cuba, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday the US had continued to provide humanitarian assistance and medical supplies, but added, “I have nothing to preview for you in terms of a change of policy.”

And US Secretary of State Tony Blinken has pushed back against criticism from the Cuban federal government, saying “it would be a grievous mistake for the Cuban regime to interpret what is happening in dozens of towns and cities across the island as the result or product of anything the United States has done.”

“That is what we are hearing and seeing in Cuba, and that is a reflection of the Cuban people, not of the United States or any other outside actor,” Blinken stated.

Correction: An image that accompanied some earlier versions of this article showed pro-government supporters but was used to describe anti-government demonstrations. The image has actually been replaced.

CNN’s Patrick Oppmann reported from Havana, while Al Goodman reported from Madrid. CNN’s Tara John wrote from London.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long included to this report.