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Thousands of Cubans took to the streets in Havana to strike against the deteriorating conditions in the country under the communist regime – the largest protest in decades – and urged the country’s president to urge “revolutionary” citizens to oppose the demonstrators.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is also the leader of the Communist Party, reached out to the country, according to the Washington Post, accusing the US of fueling the anger.
SOCIALIST SANDERS MUM ON PROTESTS
“We are ready for anything,” he said. “We will fight in the streets.”
Cuba is experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades, along with a resurgence of coronavirus cases as it suffers the aftermath of US sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Twitter that “the US supports freedom of expression and assembly across Cuba and strongly condemns any violence or attacks on peaceful protesters who exercise their universal rights.”
Many of the demonstrators in the town of San Antonio de los Banos were young and verbally abused Diaz-Canel. They shouted that they were “not afraid”.
Senator Ted Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, went on Twitter in support of the Thousands of protesters.
Cruz released a video claiming to be showing dozens outside Communist Party headquarters, saying the current regime was being “thrown in the dustbin of history”.
“It has brutalized and denied freedom for generations of Cubans and forced my family and so many others to flee,” he tweeted. “The American people stand directly with the men and women of Cuba and their noble struggle for freedom.”
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In 2009, a year after Raul Castro formally replaced Fidel as Cuban President, Díaz-Canel became Minister for Higher Education. In 2012 he rose to one of the vice presidencies of Cuba and was named first vice president shortly thereafter.
“We call on all revolutionaries in the country, all communists, to take to the streets wherever there is an attempt to produce these provocations,” said Diaz-Canel, according to Reuters.
Witnesses told the Post that tear gas was used and dozens of demonstrators were arrested. The newspaper said several people had been injured.
The Associated Press contributed to this report