Cuba blames US ‘economic asphyxiation’ for unrest as Joe Biden backs protestors

Cuba: President blames unrest on US 'economic asphyxiation'

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Mr Díaz-Canel took to the airwaves as violent scenes erupted across Cuba as thousands of furious citizens protested and rioted calling for the president to step down as the country is gripped by its worst economic crisis for 30 years. Interrupting state TV and radio, the Cuban president directly addressed Joe Biden and slammed the US for supporting anti-government protestors who are marching in their thousands as the country is ravaged by food and medicine shortages after the coronavirus pandemic. 

The enraged Cuban President launched a full-pronged attack at Mr Biden as the US throw its support behind the protestors.

He said: “All these processes that we have tried to confront and overcome.

“In the face of a policy of economic suffocation to provoke social unrest, have cumulative effects.

“I believe that the problem we are experiencing have to do with those cumulative processes.”

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Thousands of Cubans marched through central Havana on Sunday, chanting “homeland and life” and “freedom” as they voiced their fury at the regime’s handling of the pandemic and economy.

As the protests spread across the country the radio and tv airwaves were taken over by the communist regime as they warned anti-government protesters will be crushed by a heavy state response.

The President went on to lambasted protesters as being “manipulated” by a U.S. conspiracy to orchestrate social media campaigns and “mercenaries” on the ground.

He also warned that further “provocations” and efforts to “destabilise” the country would not be tolerated.

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President Díaz-Canel then went on to issue a call to arms of his supporters to counter the protests, saying: “We call upon all the revolutionaries of the country, all the communists, to take to the streets.”

Despite warnings, protesters threw missiles, rocks and even concrete pulled up from pavements as they countered a vicious crackdown from pro-government forces on Sunday.

Police and the army can be seen bundling hundreds of demonstrators into vehicles and speeding off.

While other government forces can be seen charging around the chaotic streets in vehicles mounted with machine guns.

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Security forces also set about protesters with batons and pepper spray in a desperate bid to regain control as the violence spiralled.

The protests are the biggest anti-government demonstrations on the Communist-run island in decades.

Recent years have seen Cuba crippled by brutal trade embargoes imposed by the USA on the island which have taken heavy tolls on the civilian population.

It is believed the United States spend around 20 million dollars a year on “democracy promotion” initiatives and activities on the island.

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